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MLB All-Star Game: And the winner is ...

American League triumphs on sac-fly in bottom of 15th

Posted: July 16, 2008 2:09 a.m.
Updated: September 16, 2008 5:03 a.m.

NEW YORK - Tuesday became Wednesday in New York City.

Opportunity became escape.

And the final Major League baseball All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium had no interest in finality.

The American League finally won the longest Midsummer Classic 4-3 in the bottom of the 15th inning. The Minnesota Twins Justin Morneau scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly by the Texas Rangers' Michael Young.

Colorado Rockie Matt Holliday gave the National League the 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth with a leadoff home run off Angel Ervin Santana.

The A.L., though, had an opportunity in its next at-bat.

With runners on first and second in the bottom of the fifth, the Yankee faithful urged its shortstop Derek Jeter to produce magic by chanting his name. But Jeter bounced to Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Dan Haren to end the inning.

Oakland A's pitcher Justin Duchscherer then gave up back-to-back singles to begin the sixth inning. Lance Berkman then put the National League up 2-0 with a sacrifice fly. Albert Pujols followed with a single, but the American League pitcher managed to retire the next two batters.

For a quick moment, the Yankee Stadium crowd embraced a Red Sox player. In the bottom of the seventh, J.D. Drew lined a two-run homer to right center field off Cincinnati Red Edinson Volquez to tie the score at 2.

But that show of affection would quickly die with the arrival of Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon in the eighth inning.

With chants of "Ma-ri-ano, Ma-ri-ano" echoing in the stadium for Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera, Papelbon didn't help himself when he allowed a leadoff single to Miguel Tejada.

Tejada would steal second and take third on a throwing error by catcher Dioner Navarro. The N.L. then took a 3-2 lead on a sacrifice fly from Adrian Gonzalez.

The lead wouldn't last.

New York Mets closer Billy Wagner opened the door for the American League in the bottom of the eighth, allowing a two-out single to Cleveland Indian Grady Sizemore. Sizemore then stole second base - the fifth steal for the A.L. in the game.

Tampa Bay Ray Evan Longoria then doubled him in to tie the score at 3.

Dodgers catcher Russell Martin singled with one out in the top of the 10th. He broke for second on a 1-0 pitch to Tejada and the Astros shortstop slapped it into center field, setting the table for Dan Uggla.

The fly ball hitter, though, grounded into a double play, giving the A.L. another chance.

Uggla made back-to-back errors to begin the 10th inning and pitcher Aaron Cook intentionally walked Carlos Guillen to load the bases and set up an out at any base.

The strategy resulted in two fielder's choices and a groundout and the N.L. escaped the inning unscathed.
Again, the N.L. would run into trouble. With runners on first and second in the bottom of the 11th, Ranger Michael Young singled to center.

Nate McClouth grabbed it, then fired home with Martin blocking.

Martin short-hopped the throw and tagged out a charging Ian Kinsler.


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