Pete Alonso cruises as Shohei Ohtani falls early

Baseball was ready for Sho-time at Coors Field on Monday. But for the second straight Home Run Derby, it was the Pete Alonso show — in a big way.

The New York Mets slugger cruised through the first two rounds of Denver’s Home Run Derby and outslugged Trey Mancini in the final to claim his second straight crown after winning the event in 2019. With the victory, he earned a $1 million paycheck, better than his $677,000 salary with the Mets this season.

Derby favorite Shohei Ohtani, meanwhile, didn’t get out of the first round.

Alonso starts strong, keeps up the pace

Alonso opened his evening with a first-round record 35 home runs to advance past Salvador Perez, who posted the second-highest total of the round with 28. 

He knocked out Juan Soto with plenty of time to spare and hype up the crowd in the second round.

Mancini put up a big number ahead of Alonso in the final with 21 home runs. But Alonso hit home runs with each of his final five swings to reach 22 with time to spare to take the crown again. 

DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 12: Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets bats during the 2021 T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Coors Field on July 12, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Pete Alonso is once again your Home Run Derby champion. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

No Sho-time for Ohtani

While Alonso claimed the crown, Soto provided the biggest upset of the night, eliminating All-Star darling and betting favorite Ohtani in the first round. Soto went first in the matchup, posting a number of 22 home runs. Ohtani, meanwhile, struggled out of the gate, failing to hit a home run until 50 seconds into his turn. But he rallied to tie Soto at 22 with a string of home runs as the clock ticked down on his turn.

The sluggers then went to a swing-off with each batter given another minute to swing away. Soto tallied six more in his turn. Ohtani again needed a late surge, but matched his counterpart in the final seconds for a second straight round. He was clearly exhausted when he was done.

With both players tied at 28, another abbreviated swing-off was in store. Each player was given three swings. Soto made the most of his, hitting all three over the fences. 

When Ohtani’s first swing resulted in a ground ball, his Home Run Derby was over. And maybe it was for the best. He has to lead off at the plate and start on the mound for the AL in Tuesday’s All-Star Game. 

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