Eric Hosmer claimed Most Valuable Player honors and left with a new Chevy truck.
Salvador Perez smashed a two-run homer while driving in two runs.
But perhaps lost amid the Royals’ takeover of Tuesday’s All-Star Game was the performance of reliever Kelvin Herrera, who breezed through the sixth inning on just eight pitches in the American League’s 4-2 win.
“He was the best of them all,” Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland said.
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Eiland was comparing Herrera to the lineup of pitchers from the American League squad — not Hosmer and Perez — but the sentiment stood out, nonetheless.
In his second All-Star Game and first appearance, Herrera displayed his dominant stuff. He struck out Reds outfielder Jay Bruce on three pitches, finishing him off with an 88 mph change-up. He retired the Phillies’ Odubel Herrera on a fly-out to center field. His fastball touched 97 while coaxing a groundout from Cincinnati’s Adam Duvall.
“I was ready,” Kansas City’s Herrera said. “I know there’s a little bit of pressure. I just wanted to be ready and forget about the crowd a little bit.”
Herrera was selected to the All-Star Game in Cincinnati last season, but he didn’t get the opportunity to pitch. His scoreless appearance marked the fourth straight year a Royals pitcher has recorded a clean outing in the All-Star Game. Closer Greg Holland appeared in 2013 and 2014 without giving up a run.
Wade Davis tossed a scoreless inning last year, striking out two hitters.
“I got on the same page with the catcher, Matt Wieters,” Herrera said. “And I never change from (what the catcher calls), because I know they got a pretty good plan.”
Bad national ratings, but popular in KC
Tuesday night’s game was wildly popular in Kansas City but drew a record low national television rating for the second straight year.
Nationally, the AL’s win got a 5.4 rating on Fox. The previous low was 6.6 last year for the game in Cincinnati.
Fox said Wednesday that the game drew a 10 share and 8.7 million viewers.
With Royals dominating the game, Kansas City was the country’s top-ranked market for the game, at 18.8/30 . St. Louis was next at 10.4/17 .
Ratings represent the percentage of homes with televisions tuned to a program, while the share is the percentage of households watching among TVs in use at the time.
Baseball remains the most-watched all-star game of the four major North American pro sports. Fox said Tuesday night’s game was its highest-rated telecast of the summer season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.