Puig struggles in ASG but still 'happy'

MINNEAPOLIS -- Yasiel Puig was so excited for his first All-Star Game, he cleaned up his Mohawk and shaved a giant star into the side of his head.

It's hard to know what haircut he'll be wearing when the Los Angeles Dodgers open after the All-Star break in St. Louis on Friday, but he might want to switch it up.

Puig didn't have much luck in his first All-Star experience. He went homerless in Monday night's Home Run Derby -- the only participant to do so -- and he was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in Tuesday night's All-Star Game.

Puig also turned the wrong way on Mike Trout's triple over his head in the first inning. But to have caught that ball would have taken a perfect route and a great catch.

Teammate Dee Gordon, who has seen Puig's prodigious talents up close for the past two seasons, was shocked by his struggles here. The Dodgers typically have seen Puig thrive under the bright lights.

"That was crazy. I can't believe that happened," Gordon said. "He'll be here for a lot more and be able to do his thing."

Puig, who is batting .309 with a .915 OPS, is hoping for another chance at an All-Star Game. He said he leaves Minneapolis "happy" because he was able to spend time with so many players he knew in Cuba -- particularly pitcher Aroldis Chapman -- and be part of Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game.

"I did the best I can," Puig said through an interpreter. "I participated in the Home Run Derby and didn't hit home runs. I played in the game and had three punchouts. It happens.

"Now, I'm focused on doing the best I can in the second half. And if I get a second opportunity to be an All-Star, I think I'll do better."

At times Puig has looked vulnerable against elite pitching. He batted .227 with 10 strikeouts against a hot St. Louis Cardinals staff in last October's NLCS.

Then again, most hitters are vulnerable to elite pitching. Puig struck out Tuesday against Felix Hernandez, Yu Darvish and Max Scherzer.