(Reuters) - Reds outfielder Todd Frazier wowed his home Cincinnati fans by winning the Home Run Derby on Monday, adding a jolt of excitement to the revamped event ahead of the All Star Game.
Frazier’s final blast saw him beat Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Joc Pederson 15-14 in a stirring final.
“It’s Cincinnati. We brought it home. This goes out to all of you (fans) for sure,” Frazier told reporters.
“I wanted to get back here,” added Frazier, who finished runner-up last year. “I’m glad it was in Cincinnati and they could enjoy this.”
This year’s contest, which served as a prelude to Major League Baseball’s All Star Game on Tuesday, added a four-minute clock and saw the eight hitters match up in one-on-one battles.
Frazier came down to his final pitch to beat two-time champion Prince Fielder in the first round, then needed another blast just before the clock expired to edge Josh Donaldson.
The free-swinging Pederson captivated the ballpark with the longest homers of the competition, then nearly played spoiler in the final where he blasted 14 to put the pressure squarely on Frazier.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford