In the controversial world of Bud Selig and the All-Star Game deciding home field advantage for the World Series, the latest round belongs to the American League as the junior circuit pulled off a 5-3 victory on July 15 at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, thereby insuring that home field for this year’s Fall Classic.
The game was the 14th and final for future Hall of Famer and current Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and fittingly it was Jeter who got the action started with a first inning double off of an allegedly grooved fastball from Cardinals’ right hander Adam Wainwright. Game MVP Mike Trout of the Angels tripled home Jeter and then came home when Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera lined a homer into the left field seats to put the AL up 3-0.
A pair of RBI doubles by Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy helped bring the National League even at 3 apiece before a run-scoring two-bagger by Trout in the fifth gave the AL the lead for keeps. A series of AL relievers the held on to the lead with hometown Twin Glen Perkins appropriately pitching the ninth inning, retiring three batters on nine pitches, to pick up the save.
“I’m not retiring at the end of the year, because I don’t think I can play. It’s just the time is right,” Jeter said in a post-game interview with MLB.com. “So today, I was fortunate. I enjoy playing these All-Star Games and competing against the best, and today, I was fortunate to get a couple of hits. But I still feel as though I can play.”
On the local front, four Cincinnati Reds saw action in the contest.Alfredo Simon pitched a scoreless third inning, giving up just a single to Jeter. Devin Mesoraco struck out in his only plate appearance while Todd Frazier drew a four-pitch walk from the colorful Fernando Rodney. Aroldis Chapman came on in relief to record the final two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The 2015 MLB All-Star Game and all its festivities will take place at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.