MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The youngest player in the All-Star Futures game made one of the biggest impressions.
Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias, who is just 17, who had a strikeout in a 1-2-3 fifth inning for the World team in its 3-2 loss Sunday. He threw 11 of 14 pitches for strikes.
“He was composed. Whoom! Whoom! Whoom! My goodness gracious,” said U.S. team manager Tom Kelly, the former skipper of the Minnesota Twins.
Urias, who turns 18 on Aug. 12, is 1-1 with a 3.44 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 52 1-3 innings for the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League. Asked whether he was nervous, the native of Mexico simply shook his head.
“It’s what God gave me and that’s what I do, and there’s no reason to be nervous,” he said through an interpreter.
uFANCY PANTS: Tom Kelly found his jersey ready when he arrived at Target Field to manage the U.S. team.
Kelly, who managed the Twins to a pair of World Series titles during his time in the Minnesota dugout from 1986-01, borrowed a pair from current Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.
“They’re a little loose,” he joked, a reference to his successor. “No, they’re not. They fit fine.”
While borrowing Gardenhire’s office for the day, Kelly helped himself to a cigar from Gardenhire’s humidor.
uHOOSIER FAVORITES? The U.S. team featured four natives of Indiana: catchers Justin O’Conner (Tampa Bay Rays, high Class A) and Kevin Plawecki (New York Mets, Triple-A), second baseman Micah Johnson (Chicago White Sox, Triple-A) and right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer (Minnesota Twins, Triple-A). That tied for the largest representation from any state with California, one more than both Florida and Texas.
“You would’ve thought if this was a basketball event, that might make a little more sense,” Meyer said. “But being here with the baseball, it speaks for Indiana baseball, too. It’s getting a lot better, so it’s a good thing.”
uOVER THE WALL: Rapper Nelly and county music singer David Nail both hit a pair of two-run homers to lead the National League over the American 18-5 in the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game.
Nelly homered in the first off former Twins star Jack Morris, and Mike Piazza followed with a solo shot for a 3-0 lead. Nelly homered again in the fifth against Rollie Fingers to make it 14-2.
Nail connected in the second off Morris after dropped fly ball in center by Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson put a runner on, then homered off Fingers in the fourth.
Nelly and Nail were selected co-MVPs of the game.
Greg Reynolds, a member of the Wounder Warrior amputee softball team who lost his left arm, received a standing ovation for a catch in front of the center-field wall in fourth.
“It’s a great feeling, especially all the hard work I had to put in,” he said.
Rickey Henderson and Fred Lynn hit solo home runs for the AL off John Smoltz.
*WARMING UP: Rod Carew, an All-Star in all 12 of his seasons with the Minnesota Twins, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Tuesday night’s All-Star game.
Carew was an All-Star in the first 18 seasons of a 19-year big league career that started in 1967 and ended with the California Angels in 1985.
Jack Morris, Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield — all St. Paul natives — will throw out ceremonial pitches before Monday night’s Home Run Derby along with current Twins first baseman Joe Mauer, a six-time All-Star who is on the disabled list.