The American League won its 3rd straight All-Star Game with a 6-3 victory in Cincinnati.
Angels superstar Mike Trout set the tone when he led off the game with a solo HR off NL starting pitcher Zack Greinke. The Dodger righty would fan four in two innings, but he couldn’t catch Trout.
The NL tied the game at 1-1 in the second on a single by Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta, but this did not impress the Reds faithful who lustily booed anything to do with the Cardinals including former Cardinal Albert Pujols. I guess Reds fans think Pujols is no Angel.
The AL took a 3-1 lead in the fifth on a single by Rangers’ DH Prince Fielder and a double by Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain.
The NL would come within one run on a solo HR by Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen.
But the AL took the lead for good in the 7th on a double by Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. Fielder would drive in his second run on a sacrifice fly to take a 5-2 lead. The AL would add another run in the 8th on a solo homerun by Twins second baseman Brian Dozier.
The NL would score a run in the 9th on a sacrifice fly by Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. But it wasn’t enough as the AL would win 6-3.
What amazes me is that AL hitters struck out 15 times. In addition to Greinke’s four K’s, Mets hurler Jacob de Grom struck out the side in the sixth while Reds closer Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth. But the AL still prevailed.
The main reason the AL prevailed was because of Trout. In addition to his homer, Mike Trout reached base three times and score three of the AL’s six runs. He also made MLB history by winning back to back All-Star Game MVPs. Willie Mays, Steve Garvey, the late Gary Carter and Cal Ripken, Jr. have won two All-Star Game MVPs. But Trout is the first back to back winner.
Prior to the game, the Cincinnati Reds franchise four was presented: Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Joe Morgan and Pete Rose. I’m not sure what’s sadder – Rose not being in the Hall of Fame or Morgan needing a cane to walk.
Bench would return to the field along with Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Sandy Koufax to be acknowledged as MLB’s four greatest living legends. Koufax then threw Bench a perfect strike. It’s hard to believe that Koufax is nearly 80.
But the man of the hour is Mike Trout. It would not surprise me if he were to win a third All-Star Game MVP and possibly more.
As a result of the AL’s win, the AL pennant winner will have home field advantage in the 2015 World Series.
The 2016 MLB All-Star Game will be played in San Diego’s Petco Park, but the AL will be considered the home team. Weird. It’ll still be a good game. Baseball will always survive the fools who run it.