American League Wins All-Star Game

By: AP
By: AP

Baseball's All-Stars came to say goodbye to Yankee Stadium - and what a long, long goodbye it was.

In a game that started Tuesday night and faded well into Wednesday, Justin Morneau slid home just in time on Michael Young's sacrifice fly in the 15th inning, giving the American League a 4-3 victory that extended its unbeaten streak to 12.

Young ended a 4-hour, 50-minute marathon at 1:37 a.m., with the grand old ballpark half-empty. It was a good thing, too - neither team had any pitchers left in the bullpen, but this one was not going to end in another tie.

The NL was given a pregame pep talk by Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, whose motto is: "Let's play two!" And they nearly did, matching the longest All-Star Game ever.

Morneau started the winning rally with a leadoff single against loser Brad Lidge, and Ian Kinsler hit a low liner to left that Ryan Ludwick caught with a dive. After Dioner Navarro singled, J.D. Drew walked to load the bases.

Young lofted a fly to right and Corey Hart's throw home took two bounces and was slightly to the first-base side of the plate. Catcher Brian McCann gloved the ball and tried a sweep tag, but Young sneaked his right foot in, barely ahead of the tag. Plate umpire Derryl Cousins made the safe call, and the AL players left in the dugout rushed out to celebrate.

The AL improved to 6-0 since the All-Star Game began determining homefield advantage in the World Series. And it even ended an old hex - it had been 0-9-1 in extra innings against its older rival.

Young got the winning hit off Trevor Hoffman in the 2006 All-Star Game at Pittsburgh, and it gave the win to Tampa Bay's Scott Kazmir, the 12th AL pitcher.

Drew was picked as the MVP, with his two-run homer in the seventh made it 2-all. Being from Boston, he was booed when presented with his trophy.

"One of those undescribable events," Drew said. "To be voted in by the players and to be in this position is really an honor."

The only other AL player with an All-Star ending RBI was Red Sox great Ted Williams, who hit a three-run, ninth-inning homer in 1941.

This game tied the NL's 2-1, 15-inning victory in 1967 at Anaheim. It made the AL 10-0-1 since its 1996 loss in Philadelphia and narrowed its overall deficit to 40-37-2.

This one had nearly everything a fan could ask for - a Yankees fan, that is.

The pinstriped crowd got to boo Boston's Jonathan Papelbon and the Mets' Billy Wagner. The fans showed their love for Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter.

Matt Holliday and Drew hit home runs. Houston shortstop Miguel Tejada made a great, falling throw on a slow grounder to deny the AL a win in the 10th after a pair of ugly errors by Dan Uggla, who made a record three botches in all.

Aaron Cook pitched three scoreless innings late in the game. Despite giving up several hits, he managed to keep the game going with the help of great defensive plays.

The AL stranded the potential winning run at third base in the 10th, 11th and 12th innings. Uggla twice stranded what would have been the go-ahead run on third.


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