Cano and Gonzalez were tied at 20 home runs apiece heading into the final round before Cano cracked 12 bombs to Gonzalez’s 11.
Being pitched to by his father, former big-leaguer Jose Cano, Cano hit 8 home runs in the first round and 12 in each of the final two.
Gonzalez bettered Cano’s production in the first round with 9, but could only muster 11 in each of the final two.
While the two power hitters from the A.L. East hammered homer after homer, the rest of the field battled for third place.
Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers, Boston’s David Ortiz and the Cardinals Matt Holliday all tied with 5 home run in the first round, so each of the sluggers was given five more pitches in a tiebreaker to determine who would advance. Fielder hit each of the balls he saw out of the park, while Ortiz knocked 4 out to advance as well. Holliday was eliminated with only 2 home runs.
Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays, the Milwaukee Brewers Rickie Weeks and the Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp all fizzled out in the first round. Bautista, the Major League-leader in home runs with 31, managed only 4 dingers in the first round, while Weeks and Kemp finished with 3 and 2, respectively.
In years past, the Derby has adopted various formats to boost its popularity, and this year was no different. Ortiz and Fielder were each chosen as “captains” for their respective leagues, being given the chance to pick their teammates.
Fielder and Weeks were greeted with a chorus of boos during their at-bats, stemming from Fielder’s decision to go with fellow Brewer Weeks over Arizona Diamondbacks All-Star Justin Upton.
The boos weren’t the only activity coming from the fans, either. One fan standing in the pool section of the outfield nearly fell over the railing while going for a ball but was saved by his brother, who grabbed him by the legs as he began to topple over. It touched a nerve for the league, which is still recovering from the tragedy that occurred last week in Arlington, Texas.
Cano finished with 32 home runs overall, while Gonzalez topped out with 31.