Detroit Tigers reliever Gregory Soto allows home run in All-Star Game

Detroit Free Press

Before the Detroit Tigers clashed with the Chicago White Sox on July 4, Gregory Soto learned he would represent his team in All-Star Game.

The remainder of his afternoon wasn’t entirely a celebration.

The left-handed reliever gave up a three-run homer to Jose Abreu in the ninth inning, allowing the White Sox to trim their deficit to one run. It was Soto’s third home run allowed this season, and the first he gave up since the beginning of June.

He hadn’t allowed another long ball until Tuesday, making his first All-Star Game appearance at Coors Field in Denver. He entered for the American League in the fifth inning and worked quickly, throwing six of his 11 pitches for strikes. But he allowed a one-out solo home run to Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto — the National League’s first run — on a 98.8 mph two-seam fastball.

Realmuto’s blast cut the AL’s lead to 4-1.

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Soto got Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jesse Winker to ground out to second base for the first out. After the home run, his night in the spotlight improved. Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds grounded out to second on a first-pitch four-seam fastball, and Pirates second baseman Adam Frazier grounded out to shortstop on the fifth pitch he saw — a 99 mph four-seamer — to end the inning.

Soto allowed one run on one hit, without a strikeout. But he left a big impression on baseball’s national stage with the shiny, all silver glove he wore on the mound.

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The 26-year-old made the AL’s All-Star team by delivering a 3.00 ERA, 21 walks and 43 strikeouts over 36 innings (38 games) this season. He has seven saves and a 1.389 WHIP. This year marks Soto’s third season in the big leagues.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter

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