For a team that's on a 13-year losing streak, the NL doesn't seem like it came out ready to play. Things started off well enough with Giants starter Tim Lincecum getting ahead of Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki 0-2. But then he allowed a flair single, hit Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter when he was ahead of him and then local Hero Albert Pujols made an error to allow the AL to go up 1-0.
Lincecum forgot to cover first base to extend the inning on what should have been a double play. After half an inning the junior circuit is up 2-0.
Bottom of the First:
Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez made a quick out to second. Phillies second baseman grounded out to first base and then Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols hit a rocket to Rangers third baseman Michael Young who made an ole play to rob Pujols of a double.
After one inning, AL 2, NL 0.
Lincecum had a much smoother frame, which included an at bat by Toronto starting pitcher Roy Halladay, who apparently doesn't own a batting helmet. He wore one with out the Blue Jays logo on the front and with the number three on the back. He wears 32.
In the middle of the second, AL 2, NL 0.
Bottom of the second:
David Wright gets the first NL hit. The Mets third baseman hit a flair to right that fell in safely. Shane Victorino followed with a sharp single to right to bring up Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina to a loud ovation. Yadi hit a sharp single to tie the game and when the throw to third got away, he tied the game to make the crowd road. When he was at the plate, flashbulbs popped at Yadi like they used to when Mark McGwire came to the plate in 1998. Price Fielder won the home run derby Monday. On Tuesday, he drove in Molina to take the lead 3-2 with an inside out swing that placed the ball just fair down the left field line before it hopped into the stands for a ground rule double.
After the second: NL 3, AL 2
White Sox starter and St. Louis area native Mark Buehrle is warming up in the left field bullpen to pitch in the third inning.
Not sure why Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin started the third inning. But he quickly got an out and is dealing strikes. Pujols attoned for his first inning error with a nice grab on a line drive down the first base line. Pujols snags a grounder from Teixiera to end the innings.
In the middle of the third, NL 3, AL 2.
Bottom of the third:
Utley flies out weakly to left center to bring Pujols to the plate. A grounder to the left of Teixiera, but he snags it for the second out. Ryan Braun hits a bouncer to short to end the inning 1-2-3 for Buehrle, who is making his fourth All-Star Game Appearance.
After three innings, NL 3, AL 2.
Into the game for the National League comes former Cardinals pitcher Danny Haren. He got first hitter Jason Bay to fly out. Josh Hamilton, the surprise star of the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee stadium, flied out to nearly the warning track in centerfield. Young singled before Toronto second sacker grounder out hard to short on a 3-2 count.
After three and a half, NL 3, AL 2.
Bottom of the fourth:
Zack Greinke started the fourth for the AL and got Raul Ibanez to quickly make an out on a foul pop up. The Royals starter, who battled anxiety problems to resurrect his career, got a huge hand during introductions. He struck out Wright looking for the second out struck out Victorino for the third... Suddenly we have a pitchers duel on our hands...
After four, NL 3, AL 2.
Chad Billingsley takes over the pitching duties and is greeted with a sharp single to centerfield by Carl Crawford of Tampa Bay. Crawford's attempt to steal was erased by a foul ball, then he was retired for the force at second on a ranging play by Utley. Ichiro, at first with one out on the fielders choice, was retired on a diving play by Pujols, who threw to second to keep the runner out of scoring position with two outs. Jeter, at first after the force, scored when Ryan Braun was slow to chase down a ball hit into the left field corner by Joe Mauer and the game is tied at three. Pujols kep the AL from regaining the lead with another fine diving stop on a ball spanked down the line.
After four and a half, AL 3, NL 3.
Bottom of the Fifth:
Edwin Jackson, of the Tigers, comes in to pitch and induces Molina to hit a two hopper to short. The crowd roars as Washington third sacker Ryan Zimmerman put a charge in a ball. But Josh Hamilton chased it down. The third out comes quietly and the inning is over.
A game that took forever to get started has suddenly started to move very quickly and seems as it if could come down to one key at bat.
After five innings, AL 3, NL 3.
Trevor Hoffman, the Brewers closer, is in to pitch. He allowed a runner to reach base for a one-out jam. But got a ground ball for a double play to notch yet another quick inning.
Through five and a half, AL 3, NL 3.
Bottom of the Sixth:
Felix Hernandez is in to pitch for the AL. Orlando Hudson quickly flied out to deep right, Pujols then grounded out to center. A grounder to short ends yet another fast inning. Francisco Cordero is warmin up for the NL.
After six, AL 3, NL 3
Pujols comes out of the game for Adrian Gonzalez of the Padres. Justin Upton of the Diamondbacks catches a hiiiiiiiigh pop up for the first out. Carl Crawford grounds out to short for number two quicker than you can take the devil out of Devil Rays. Justin Morneau hits a soft liner to third to end the inning.
Through six and a half, AL 3, NL 3
Bottom of the seventh:
Jonathan Papelbon is in to pitch for the American Leaguers. Brad Hawpe led off and was robbed of what could have been the go ahead homer by Carl Crawford. Miguel Tejada just missed a homer to right. But Adam Jones of the Orioles tracked it down for the second out. Jayson Werth took a VERY close two-strike fastball then fouled off another couple of pitches, but eventually struck out to send it to the eighth.
After seven innings, AL 3, NL 3
Tejada throws out the first batter. But Tigers centerfielder Curtis Granderson tripled into left field on Heath Bell offering to put the go ahead run at third with only one out. Bell walked Victor Martinez intentionally to put Cleveland's catcher at first base and set up the double play. Adam Jones has the chance to be the hero... A sacrifice fly gives the AL the 4-3 lead... it's first lead since the second inning. Hawpe's throw to second keeps Martinez from scoring on a single. Ben Zobrist of the Rays struck out to end the inning.
After seven and a half: AL 4, NL 3.
Bottom of the eighth:
Joe Nathan is in to pitch for the American League. Brian McCann hit a foul pop up to the catcher. Zimmerman swung at the first pitch to hit a lazy pop fly... With Yankees closer Mariano Rivera lurking in the bullpen, Gonzalez draws a walk and brings the go-ahead run to the plate in Orlando Hudson. Hudson gets a base hit of the shortstop's glove and here comes St. Louis native Ryan Howard. Despite a Williams shift and the tying run at third, Howard was going for the big fly and fouled the first pitch straight back. He swung through the second and took a couple of wasted pitches before striking out on a checked swing.
After eight, AL 4, NL 3.
K-Rod's in and gets Brandon Inge right away. Crawford strikes out. Morneau hit a looooong fly to center that is caught on the run at the wall by Worth...
Through eight and a half: AL 4, NL 3.
Bottom of the ninth:
Rivera is in to try to get the save and extend the AL's winning streak. Justin Upton is up first. He bounced one to deep short to make the first out. Hawpe is up second and is completely tied up by a pitch in on his hands to fall behind 1-2. Rivera then backdoored him with an outside cutter to put the AL one out away. Tejada popped out to second base to end it.
Final score: American League 4, National League 3.