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LAst Night's Action: National League Breaks 14 Year Swoon

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National League defeats American League 3-1. For the first time since 1996 the National League won the Midsummer Classic and their first win since the winning league got home field advantage in 2003. And they really had to earn the win in a pitchers’ duel which only made sense in this Year of the Pitcher.

“I think the pitching by both sides was excellent,” American League manager Joe Girardi said. “It came down to one pitch in the game.”

Everything went swimmingly until the bottom of the fifth inning when Dodger reliever Hong-Chih Kuo came into the game. After giving up a lead-off walk to Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria, Kuo fielded a dribbler down the third baseline hit by Minnesota Twins’ Joe Mauer and threw over the head of San Diego Padres’ first baseman Adrian Gonzalez allowing Longoria to advance to third and Mauer to second.

New York Yankees’ Robinson Cano hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Longoria for the AL 1-0 lead.

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But the National League came back in the seventh inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Atlanta Braves’ Brian McCann hit a bases-clearing double for his first base hit in an All Star Game to give the NL the 3-1 lead.

Dodgers’ closer Jonathan Broxton had an interesting ninth inning after giving up a lead-off single to Boston Red Sox’s David Ortiz. After Red Sox’s Adrian Beltre struck out, Toronto Blue Jays’ John Buck hit a fly ball to shallow right field that dropped in front of the Chicago Cubs’ Marlon Byrd. With the no-quite-so-fleet-of-foot Ortiz stuck in between first and second while the ball was in the air, Byrd threw a heater straight to Dodgers’ Rafael Furcal covering second for the force out.

Broxton then needed only one more 99 mph fastball to Texas Rangers’ Ian Kinsler who flew out to center field to end the game.

“Their guys threw a little bit harder than our guys,” Girardi conceded. “They threw extremely well, and I thought our guys threw the ball extremely well too. There weren’t a lot of hits tonight - just a lot of good stuff.”

McCann’s three-RBI double was enough to earn him the MVP of the game becoming the second consecutive catcher from the National League to win it - the Dodgers’ Mike Piazza won the award in 1996.

For the Dodgers Andre Ethier went 1-for-2 with a strike out, Rafael Furcal walked in his only at-bat, Hong-Chih Kuo pitched 2/3 innings giving up an unearned run and walking a batter, and Jonathan Broxton with an inning pitched giving up a hit and striking out one got the save for the National League.

For the Angels Torii Hunter went 0-for-2 striking out once and leaving three runners on base.

And most importantly, I win a free apple fritter from a local donut shop.