AL beats NL 4-3


Joe Mauer drove in the tying run and Joe Nathan got a hold to help the American League to its 13th straight All-Star game victory.

It was a game without a clear MVP. The quickest game since 1988, the game featured good pitching and great defense. Because no one pitcher spent much time on the mound, it was tough to award the Ted Williams trophy to a pitcher. Carl Crawford won the MVP award because he made a game-saving catch of a probable home-run ball off the bat of Brad Hawpe with the game tied in the seventh inning.

Either Mauer or Nathan could have easily won the award. Mauer's fifth-inning double down the left field line pulled the AL into a 3-3 tie and paved the way for an AL victory. Nathan's strikeout of Ryan Howard on a nasty slider with two on and two out in the bottom of the eighth helped the AL retain the lead. Mariano Rivera also could have won the award, capturing a record fifth All-Star save to nail down the victory. Curtis Granderson was also a candidate, hitting a triple in the top of the eighth and scoring the winning run on Adam Jones' sacrifice fly.

The most important outcome was the AL's retention of home field advantage in the World Series, something it has claimed in every year since the All-Star game has been played for keeps.

Studs:

1. Mauer: Caught six innings, scored a run, drove in a run.

2. Nathan: Despite putting two guys on with a walk and a scratch hit, he really showed why he deserves to close this game with an awesome pitching performance against Howard--Setting him up with high fastballs and putting him away with a low slider.

3. Justin Morneau: Hit a liner that Jason Werth caught after a long run into the left-center gap.

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