Abreu, Encarnacion, Cruz pad Derby resumes

White Sox, Blue Jays and O's sluggers each reach MLB-high 25 homers

Abreu, Encarnacion, Cruz pad Derby resumes

It looks like the Home Run Derby has started a few weeks early.

In Toronto on Friday, Chicago's Jose Abreu blasted two home runs and Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion smacked one of his own to impress the American League captain, the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista.

The homers by Abreu and Encarnacion created a three-way tie atop the Major League home run leaderboard with Baltimore's Nelson Cruz, who also went deep Friday. They each have 25.

Abreu, who has four homers in his last five games, trails Miguel Cabrera by 1.2 million votes for the AL's starting nod at first base for the All-Star Game. Cruz, meanwhile, leads the fourth-place Encarnacion by nearly 1.2 million votes among designated hitters.

Encarnacion has five dingers in his last nine games after hitting five in his previous 20. Cruz, who has four homers in his last nine games, has withstood two home run droughts of 13 games or more this season.

Miami's Giancarlo Stanton is fourth in the Majors with 21 homers, while Detroit's Victor Martinez is fifth with 20.

Bautista and National League captain Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies will each select four sluggers to join them for the Home Run Derby on July 14 in Minneapolis as part of All-Star Weekend.

You can have a say in determining the participants. The All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian also features the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Select up to three candidates in each league, and the final results will be considered as the captains determine the field in consultation with MLB.

There is another important part of the captain duty. The Gillette Home Run Derby will again raise funds for MLB's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as well as charities selected by the captains. More than $3 million has been raised for charity over the past 10 years, including an all-time high of $615,000 donated in 2012.

MLB.com Home Run Derby is a great way to get caught up in the action right now, with Target Field as the setting. Join millions who are playing this all-new game, which is available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. New for 2014 is Multiplayer Derby Mode, Achievements and Objectives.

MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally on July 15 by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.


Round 1

  • Ten participants total; five participants representing each league.
  • Batting order will be determined prior to the event. Hitter No. 1 for the NL will hit first followed by Hitter No. 1 for the AL (home team). This order will continue for hitters Nos. 2-5 for each league, with the NL going first followed by the AL.
  • Each participant will receive seven outs.
  • The player from each league who hits the most home runs (AL 1; NL 1) will automatically advance to round three (semifinals).
  • The next two participants with the most home runs from each league (AL 2; AL 3 / NL 2; NL 3) advance to Round 2.

Round 2

  • The two participants advancing from Round 1 for each league will compete against each other (AL 2 vs. AL 3 / NL 2 vs. NL 3).
  • The NL matchup will occur first, followed by the AL matchup, with NL 2 and AL 2 choosing if they want to hit first or second.
  • Each participant will receive seven outs.
  • The winners from the Round 2 matchups (one from each league) will advance to Round 3 (semifinals).

Round 3 (Semifinals)

  • The top seed from each league (AL 1; NL 1) will face the winner from his league's Round 2 matchup.
  • The NL matchup will occur first, followed by the AL matchup, with NL 1 and AL 1 choosing if they want to hit first or second.
  • Each participant will receive seven outs.
  • The participant from each league with the most home runs will advance to the Finals.

Round 4 (Finals)

  • The semifinal winners (one player from each league) will compete for the crown of Home Run Derby champion.
  • The batting order will be determined by a coin flip, which will be held at a meeting at home plate between the two finalists and their league captains (note that a finalist and team captain could be the same participant).
  • Each finalist will receive seven outs.


  • If two or more players are tied for advancement into the next round or for the championship, each player will receive three swings to hit as many home runs as possible. If they are still tied after three swings, they will each take one swing. This process is repeated if necessary until one player wins the swing-off.

Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MDeFranks. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.