American League captures win in All Star game
GULLANE, Scotland - Reuters
The American League finally scored a win against the National League, ending its string of three defeats. AFP photoThe American League ended a string of three All-Star game defeats and paid tribute to reliever Mariano Rivera in beating the National League 3-0 on July 16 to earn home-field advantage for the 2013 World Series.
After losing the last three Midsummer Classics by an aggregate of 16-2, Miguel Cabrera and Adam Jones ripped lead-off doubles that led to runs in the fourth and fifth innings and Jason Kipnis doubled home another in the eighth.
Rivera was named the All-Star MVP, with Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox throwing two innings to earn the win as 10 AL pitchers combined on a three-hitter.
Patrick Corbin of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the third of eight National League pitchers, took the loss.
Yankee closer Rivera provided an emotional highlight when he entered from the bullpen to pitch the bottom of the eighth.
The 43-year-old, Major League Baseball’s all-time saves leader who is retiring at the end of the season, was met with a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd at Citi Field.
“I said to the players before the game, I’m not a motivational speaker but my motivation tonight is to work our fannies off and bring in the greatest closer of all time,” AL manager Jim Leyland said.
With his AL team mates staying by the dugout to give Rivera a solitary moment, the closer doffed his cap in each direction to acknowledge the cheering fans before ending his 13th All-Star appearance by turning in a familiar one-two-three inning.
“It’s been a wonderful night,” said Rivera, who was presented with a blue Corvette Stingray as MVP. “When I got to the mound, I see both sides, both teams on the dugout, and it was amazing. It almost made cry, too. I was close.”
Victory was assured as American League bats came to life after a long drought.
The American League snapped a 17-inning All-Star scoreless streak when Cabrera came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Jose Bautista off Corbin in the fourth.
The previous tally for AL All-Stars had come in the fourth inning of the 2011 game in Arizona, which the National League won 5-1 before registering an 8-0 drubbing last year. AL hitters went right back to work in the fifth against Cliff Lee. Adam Jones ripped a double to left, took third on a ground single to left by Joe Mauer and scored on a grounder by Orioles team mate J.J. Hardy. Another double delivered the AL’s third run in the eighth inning when Jason Kipnis hammered a Craig Kimbrel pitch that short-hopped the wall in left to drive home Salvador Perez.