Wednesday, July 11, 2007

But the A.L. Stars Shine that Much Brighter...Again [J. Mark English]

What is wrong with the National League? They lost again tonight to the American League, in a losing streak dating back to 1996.

Here is a bit of a recap from the New York Times:

On a night of tricky hops, Ichiro Suzuki and the American League also bounced back to win. Instead of a Barry Bonds splash shot, the defining hit at Tuesday's All-Star game was Suzuki's inside-the-park home run, the first in the game's history.

Suzuki lined a go-ahead, two-run drive off the right-field wall in the fifth inning, Carl Crawford and Victor Martinez later hit conventional shots and the Americans made it 10 straight over Nationals, holding on for a 5-4 victory.

After Alfonso Soriano's two-out, two-run homer in the ninth, the NL loaded the bases. Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez then retired Aaron Rowand on a routine fly to right for a save.

Willie Mays, Bonds' godfather, was honored with a touching tribute before the game. In the Say Hey Kid's day, the NL ruled All-Star games but not anymore. The AL closed to 40-36-2 and improved to 5-0 since the All-Star winner received homefield advantage in the World Series.

In a decade of dominance, the notorious 2002 tie at Milwaukee was all that interrupted the AL's run. The only longer streak was when the NL took 11 in a row from 1972-82.

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