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Big League Stew

AL tops NL 3-0 in All-Star Game to end three-year losing streak, Mariano Rivera named MVP

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

Score and situation: The American League topped the National League 3-0, holding the NL to only three hits. The win ends a three-year All-Star skid for the AL, a losing streak that had been deemed "not acceptable." Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox was the AL winning pitcher. Patrick Corbin of the Arizona Diamondbacks took the loss for the NL.

How they scored: The American League scored runs in the fourth, fifth and eighth innings. The first two were pretty ho-hum: A Jose Bautista sac fly in the fourth, a J.J. Hardy fielder's choice that plated Adam Jones in the fifth. The biggest run-scoring hit was Jason Kipnis' ground-rule double in the eighth that scored Salvador Perez.

[Photos: 2013 MLB All-Star highlights]

MVP: Who else? Mariano Rivera accepted the MVP award from Bud Selig after the game, not so much a nod to his performance Tuesday night — though he did pitch a three-up, three-down eighth inning for a hold — but a lifetime achievement award for baseball's career saves leader. In a fitting twist: He proved to be the setup man on this night, like he was earlier in his career. It was a game devoid of big plays, so the scene was set perfectly to honor Mo.

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(USA Today)

Other strong showings:
• Jose Fernandez, the Marlins rookie, who pitched the sixth inning and struck out two.

Mike Trout, who hit the first pitch of the game off Matt Harvey for a double, quickly putting to an end that anticipated showdown.

• Harvey, who pitched two innings as the NL starter in his home park. No one else got a hit off him after Trout. He struck out two.

• Paul Goldschmidt, who smacked a two-out, ninth-inning double that almost left the yard.

• Prince Fielder, who motored around the bases for a ninth-inning triple. Yes, a triple.

The Mo factor: The game didn't have much drama, given the NL's futility. About the most dramatic question was when we'd see Rivera and in what situation. Turned out to be a good one — with a 3-0 lead to protect. AL manager Jim Leyland brought Rivera in the bottom of the eighth, to make sure he got into the game. Joe Nathan earned the save.

Interesting stat: This is the first time in All-Star history there have been back-to-back shutouts.

What people will be talking about: The two Robinson Canos — first, the Yankees star, who got pegged with a pitch in the first inning and had to leave the game. He says he's fine and the bad-luck Yankees better hope so. The other "Cano" is the young fan in a Cano shirt who ran onto the field and got tackled by security.

 

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