Even in an All-Star Game, Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout stood above rest.
The 2014 AL MVP hit a home run in the first at-bat of the game and scored two runs to lead the American League All-Stars over the National League All-Stars in the 86th Mid-Summer Classic at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio, 6-3.
Trout hit his bomb to the opposite field off Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke, who started the game for the National League. The homer helped Trout win his second straight All-Star Game MVP. He is the first player to accomplish that feat.
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The Angels center fielder scored his second run in the fifth with two outs on Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder‘s single. The run gave the American League the lead, 2-1. In the next at-bat, Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain doubled to score Angels first baseman Albert Pujols to extend the lead to two.
Greinke’s teammate, Clayton Kershaw, gave up those two runs in the fifth and took the loss.
It was the first time since 1949 that a Tigers pitcher won and a Dodgers pitcher lost in the same All-Star game. Virgil Trucks won that All-Star Game over 65 years ago for the AL.
Still trailing 3-1, Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen lead off the bottom of the sixth with a solo bomb to bring the NL within a run, but the AL answered with a pair of runs in the seventh and then tacked on another run in the eighth.
In the bottom of the eighth, Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias showcased the fine leather that Detroit fans have seen all year. Iglesias made a nice stabbing stop to his right and threw back across his body to first base. Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal was out by several feet.
Trout may have taken home the MVP award and the Chevy truck, but Cain was the only player with multiple hits. Cain was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Fielder went 1-for-1 with a sacrifice fly and two RBI.
Interestingly, four of the game’s 13 hits, including two homers, came from center fielders.
The NL was able to muster a small rally in the ninth off Twins closer Glen Perkins. Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun began the inning with a triple and scored on Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford‘s sacrifice fly, but Perkins forced the next two batters to fly out.
Since the National League won three straight Mid-Summer Classics from 2010-2012, the American League have won the last three. The AL has also won 10 of the last 13 All-Stars Games.
The AL victory guarantees home-field advantage for the Detroit Tigers if they are able to advance to the World Series. So they have that going for them … which is nice.