Big League Stew - MLB

Final score: National League 3, American League 1

Leading lads: Against a nasty left-hander in the top of the seventh, Brian McCann(notes) removed the weight of 13 seasons without an NL victory by lining a go-ahead, three-run double. McCann came in 0 for 3 in four All-Star appearances. If the Braves, who lead the NL East at the break, can make it to the World Series, they can thank McCann — the Ted Williams MVP of the game — for earning home-field advantage.

Watch the big hit

Marlon Byrd(notes) of the Chicago Cubs worked a key walk during the NL's big rally and also made a great play to force a lumbering David Ortiz(notes) at second base in the ninth.

Head hangers: After the AL staff put up zeroes through six innings, the Yankees' Phil Hughes(notes) and White Sox left-hander Matt Thornton(notes) combined to surrender the lead in the seventh. Hughes allowed a pair of singles and Thornton a walk before, with two outs, he left a fastball up for McCann. Hughes takes the loss. ... The only reason the AL scored at all was the throwing error made by Los Angeles left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo(notes) in the fifth. Robinson Cano(notes) followed with a sacrifice fly to score Evan Longoria(notes). ... AL manager Joe Girardi kept Alex Rodriguez(notes) on the bench in case he needed to run for Adrian Beltre(notes), who has a sore hamstring. He was the only pinch runner available for Ortiz.

Big play: A left-handed batter, McCann handled an 0-1 fastball by another lefty, Thornton, with apparent ease. He pulled it into the right-field corner for the biggest hit for the NL in an All-Star Game in ... forever.

Big stat: The AL had been 12-0-1 in All-Star Games since 1997.

What they're saying: 

"I just had to make up my mind — either dive or just try to let it drop and then spin and fire. At the last second, I knew I wasn't going to get there." — Marlon Byrd

"It was a big game. Whoever goes to the World Series this year — probably the Cardinals — gets home-field advantage." — Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright(notes)

"We were talking about pinch-running him in a situation. We also had a little issue with Beltre and we were concerned about his hamstring, so if we get the tying run on, Al was going to pinch run and then go in." — Girardi, on why he didn't use A-Rod to pinch run for Big Papi

What's next: The second half starts Thursday.

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