MIAMI — Robinson Cano doesn’t care if it counts, he had a blast. The Mariners second baseman hammered a leadoff homer off Cubs closer Wade Davis in the top of the 10th inning to give the American League a 2-1 win over the National League on Tuesday.
“I didn’t even know until yesterday that they had changed the rule,” the former Yankee slugger said about the All-Star Game outcome no longer determining which league got home-field advantage for the World Series. “I am going to get an at-bat and do my thing. But, honestly I really I like that way, because that way you can joke around and be able to make it feel more fun, the way it used to be. Especially these days, the way people are joking around on social media. It was a blast.”
It was the first All-Star Game since 2002 that was played without postseason consequences. After the 2002 All-Star game ended in an extra-inning tie with teams running out of pitchers, then-commissioner Bud Selig pushed to have the Midsummer Classic mean something. Tuesday, that pressure was off and it showed in the relaxed attitudes.
The Fox broadcast not only had analyst and former Yankee All-Star Alex Rodriguez interviewing players at their positions in between innings, but they actually chatted with Bryce Harper and George Springer as they played in the outfield. Nelson Cruz went to the batters box and handed NL catcher Yadier Molina his phone to have him take a pic of him and home plate umpire Joe West.
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Cruz then flied out to end the inning, but his cameraman went yard in the bottom of the inning. Molina, who sported a Star Wars-looking gold mask and chest protector, homered in the sixth to tie the game at 1-1. The AL had scored off Dodgers lefty Alex Wood in the fifth. Miguel Sano’s shallow fly ball that dropped in between three Nationals in right field, scoring Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who had hit a two-out, sharp groundball up the third base line for a double.
Yankees rookie sensation Aaron Judge, who beat out Sano Monday night to win the Home Run Derby, flew out to the warning track to end the inning. He finished his night 0-for-3. Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez went 0-for-2 and was charged with a passed ball trying to catch Red Sox reliever Craig Kimbrel.
Yankees set-up man Dellin Betances pitched around two walks and two wild pitches in the third inning. He had been one pitch away from a third straight strikeout when he seemed to lose the strike zone. He walked Harper and Posey before getting Daniel Murphy to bite on a curveball for a groundout to short.
Mets outfielder Michael Conforto blooped a single to left in the seventh, becoming the youngest Mets outfielder to get a hit in an All-Star Game since Darryl Strawberry in 1986. The 24-year old had the winning run on third base in the bottom of the ninth when Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel struck him out to end the inning.
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PLAY OF THE GAME
Bryce Harper’s diving grab of Salvador Perez’s line drive in the second was only topped by the massive hair flip he did as he picked himself up off the ground.
Former Yankee Robinson Cano’s leadoff homer in the top of the 10th broke open the 1-1 tie.
STAR OF THE GAME
Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano clubbed the second home run of the night, but it was the game-winner.
43-43-2. With its fifth consecutive win, the American League has tied up the record in the Midsummer Classic at 43-43-2. Each side has scored exactly 361 runs.
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Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina homered and drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth. He became the oldest catcher to homer in an All-Star Game with his sixth-inning solo shot.
Aaron Judge came up big Monday, winning the Home Run Derby, but the Yankees’ rookie sensation went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and a long flyball out.
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