Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero and Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena face off for Home Run Derby title

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American League's Randy Arozarena, of the Tampa Bay Rays, reacts during the first round of the MLB All-Star baseball Home Run Derby in Seattle, Monday, July 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

SEATTLE (AP) — Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero and Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena advanced to the final of the All-Star Home Run Derby on Monday night.

Guerrero defeated Julio Rodríguez 21-20 in the semifinals after the Mariners star hit a record 41 in the first round in front of his hometown fans.

Arozarena defeated Luis Robert of the Chicago White Sox 35-22 in the semifinals. Robert hit the longest drive of the night, a 484-foot shot to left in the second round.

Trying to become the youngest Derby winner at age 22, Rodríguez knocked out two-time champion Pete Alonso of the New York Mets, who hit 21. Rodríguez beat Corey Seager 32-24 in the first round last year at Dodger Stadium, then knocked out Alonso 31-23 before losing to Juan Soto 19-18 in the final.

Arozarena beat Texas’ Adolis García 24-17 in the opening pairing before a crowd of 46,952 at T-Mobile Park. García is the godfather to Arozarena’s daughter, and the two jumped into each other’s arms during warmups.

Robert knocked out Baltimore’s Adley Rutschman 28-27 in the opening round.

Rutschman hit 21 left-handed, and the switch hitter then turned around to the right side and hit six more right-handed during a 30-second bonus round. From Portland, Oregon, Rutschman grew up attending Mariners games.

Guerrero, back for the first time in four years, defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie Betts 26-11 in the first round. Four years ago at Cleveland, Guerrero hit 29 in the first round and 40 in the second, then lost to Alonso 23-22 in the final. His father, Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, won the 2007 derby in San Francisco.

Alonso was trying for his third title in four years. Seattle’s Ken Griffey Jr. is the only three-time winner, taking the title in 1994, ’98 and ‘99.

Only three players have won the title at home: the Chicago Cubs’ Ryne Sandberg in 1990, Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier in 2015 and Washington’s Bryce Harper in 2018.

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