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Bell draws Acuna in Home Run Derby


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Josh Bell will square off against Braves center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. in the first round of the All-Star Home Run Derby.

The event will be held next Monday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Bell, the Pirates’ first baseman, is seeded third in the eight-man event and Acuna is seeded sixth.

The pairings were announced late Wednesday night by Major League Baseball.

Bell has hit 26 home runs in 85 games this season and leads the major leagues with 80 RBIs. He is also hitting .309/.381/.660.

Acuna, the National League Rookie of the Year last season, has 20 homers in 86 games this year to go with a .292/.373/.506 line.

Other first-round matchups include No. 1 seed Christian Yelich (31 home runs) of the Brewers against No. 8 seed Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (eight home runs) of the Blue Jays, No. 2 seed Pete Alonso (28 home runs) of the Mets versus No. 7 seed Carlos Santana (18 home runs) of the Indians and No. 4 seed Alex Bregman (22 home runs) of the Astros taking on No. 5 seed Joc Pederson (20 home run) of the Dodgers.

The winner of the event gets $1 million.

Bell will also be part of the National League team next Tuesday for the All-Star Game. He is the only Pirates player selected.

Bell was picked as a reserve first baseman after losing out to the Braves' Freddie Freeman in the fan balloting at the position. However, there is a strong indication that NL manager Dave Roberts of the Dodgers will use Bell as the designated hitter, earning Bell a start in his first All Star Game appearance.

The last Pirates player to participate in the Home Run Derby was Andrew McCutchen in 2012 at Kansas City. He was eliminated in the first round.

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