The National League ended its 14-year All-Star game win drought with a 3–1 defeat of the American League at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, Calif, on Tuesday. The win gives the NL home field advantage in the World Series.
The All-Star MVP went to Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann, whose line drive double to right field in the top of the seventh inning with the bases loaded resulted in the game-winning three runs.
McCann was the first Atlanta Brave to win the MVP since Fred McGriff in 1994.
“You dream of moments like this as a kid. Tonight was just amazing,” McCann told Fox Sports.
The AL had some good opportunities to reclaim the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning with runners on first and third with two outs.
But NL pitcher Adam Wainwright (St. Louis Cardinals) struck out Torii Hunter (Los Angeles Angels) to close the inning after giving up two hits and a walk.
After an uneventful eighth inning, the AL again threatened to come back after 2010 Home Run Derby champion David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox) hit a line drive single to right field against closer Jonathan Broxton (Los Angeles Dodgers).
Broxton—who has only given up one home run this year—answered by striking out Adrian Beltre, also from the Boston Red Sox, for one out.
Then, on a full count, John Buck hit a fly ball to right field just out of the reach of Marlon Byrd of the Chicago Cubs.
But Byrd recovered the ball beautifully and fired it to shortstop Rafael Furcal (Los Angeles Dodgers) just in time to get Ortiz out at second.
Center fielder Chris Young (Arizona Diamondbacks) got the last out of the game off a fly ball from Ian Kinsler (Texas Rangers).
“Right to the end we were trying to come back. They’ve got a pretty good pitching staff,” Torii Hunter said.
The AL got their only run of the night in the bottom of the fifth inning off Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo, who also had the only error of the night.
Kuo overthrew the first baseman for what should have been an easy out off hitter Joe Mauer (Minnesota Twins). The error allowed Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays—who Kuo had previously walked—to make it to third and Mauer to second.
Longoria then scored off a sacrifice fly to left field by Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees, and Kuo was relieved.
The lack of hitting and scoring in the first half of the game was partly the result of a lineup of ace pitchers by both teams and the glare of the sun from the outfield, making it difficult for hitters to see the ball.
Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies and David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays got the pitching started for each team.
Besides Byrd’s defensive play in the ninth, one other notable play came from AL left fielder Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Braun had a superb diving catch in left field off a fly ball by Texas Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton for the second out in the bottom of the fourth.