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MLB All-Star Game: Giant All-Star drubbing

MVP Cabrera leads National League in blowout

Posted: July 10, 2012 10:23 p.m.
Updated: July 10, 2012 10:23 p.m.

National League's Melky Cabrera, right, of the San Francisco Giants, celebrates his two-run home on Tuesday in Kansas City, Mo.

 

KANSAS CITY — The phenoms from Anaheim and Washington. The knuckleballer who went through hell and survived. The retiring Braves legend. The returning legendary manager in his final game.

They all were the storylines coming into the 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

But the National League’s five-run head start on the American League and the hitting of a pair of San Francisco Giants led the N.L. to an 8-0 win in the 2012 All-Star Game at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium in the Heartland heat in front of 40,933.

Giant Melky Cabrera went 2-for-3 in the game with a two-run home run and two runs scored to earn the game’s Most Valuable Player award.

“I didn’t come here to win the MVP. That was a great surprise, a great gift that the Lord gave me,” said Cabrera, who was traded from the Kansas City Royals to San Francisco after last season. “The opportunity that Kansas City gave me last year is the same opportunity that San Francisco gave me to play every day this year and showcase my talent.”

After the American League went undefeated from 1997-2009 (including a tie in 2002), the National League has won the last three All-Star Games and again has home-field advantage in the World Series. N.L. teams have won the last two World Series.

The National League took advantage of a shaky Justin Verlander in the first inning, scoring five runs on four hits.
Verlander threw 35 pitches and walked two batters.

Ryan Braun doubled to right field to plate the game’s first run.

After the second free pass of the inning loaded the bases, Pablo

Sandoval tripled into the right field corner to score three more runs.

Dan Uggla followed with a grounder deep into the hole at shortstop and Derek Jeter made his signature backhand and leaping throw. But the one hopper wasn’t handled by Prince Fielder at first base. The infield single scored Sandoval to give the N.L. a 5-0 lead.

In the fourth inning, Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison got two quick outs on the N.L., then Rafael Furcal tripled in the right field corner. Furcal’s Cardinal teammate Matt Holliday singled him in for a 6-0 advantage.

Then, Cabrera lined a 2-2 pitch into the left field bullpen for a two-run home run and 8-0 lead.

Braun then followed with the N.L.’s All-Star record third triple of the game, but he was stranded at third base when Harrison induced a groundout from Joey Votto.

Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw gave up a one-out single in the bottom of the fifth inning, then Nationals phenom Bryce Harper lost a Mike Napoli pop-up in left field, extending the inning.

The Kauffman Stadium fans gave Harper some grief for misplaying the ball into a single.

After a Curtis Granderson ground out, Kershaw walked Asdrubal Cabrera, loading the bases.

The reigning Cy Young Award winner went after pinch hitter Ian Kinsler with some hard fastballs and finally got him to end the inning with a fly out to Harper.

Harper, the 19-year-old rookie for the Nationals, went 0-for-1 in the game with a walk and a strikeout.

“It was fun to come out there and be around the best players in baseball, and I had a blast. Being out here was a blessing,” Harper said. “I think when we were standing in line (being announced in pregame), it started to sink in.”

In the top of the sixth, retiring Braves third baseman Chipper Jones stepped to the plate to a big cheer. The 18-year Major Leaguer tipped his helmet, then singled on the first pitch he saw.

Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, in his first All-Star Game, said that was a highlight for him.

“It was great. The fans were awesome, especially with this being Chipper’s last All-Star Game. Being part of that was pretty cool,” Strasburg said.

The American League’s phenom, Angel Mike Trout, singled off knuckleballer journeyman R.A. Dickey in the sixth inning and walked against triple-digit throwing Aroldis Chapman in the eighth. Trout also stole a base.

The American League was quiet throughout the game, but had a runner on third base in the bottom of the ninth inning. Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon closed out the game by getting Matt Wieters to fly out.

It sent Tony LaRussa, who retired after winning 2,728 games and the World Series as Cardinals skipper in 2011, home for good with a win.

“I was aware this was going to be it,” LaRussa said. “The last couple of innings, the coaches and I were talking about it. In a big game that rarely happens where you can enjoy the moment. But I enjoyed it.”

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