San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval hit a three-run triple as the National League defeated the American League 8-0 for its third straight victory in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game.
The NL got its sixth shutout since the contest began in 1933 and leads the series 43-38 with two ties. The margin of victory at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City last night was the widest for an NL team and gives its champion home-field advantage in this year’s World Series.
“You just don’t get an eight-run lead,” said Tony La Russa, who managed the NL team after retiring from the St. Louis Cardinals following their World Series win last year. “I was just lucky. I had a great time, I like the competition but believe me, I don’t want any more dugouts.”
Sandoval’s Giants teammate Melky Cabrera was selected as the Most Valuable Player after hitting a two-run homer in the fourth inning to complete the scoring. Cabrera is the eighth San Francisco player to hit a home run in the All-Star Game and the fifth to be named MVP. The last NL player to win the MVP award in his All-Star debut was LaMarr Hoyt of the San Diego Padres in 1985.
NL starter Matt Cain, the Giants pitcher who threw the 22nd perfect game in major league history on June 13, got the win after allowing one hit and striking out one in two innings.
Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers took the loss after giving up five runs on four hits and striking out two in the first inning for the AL, which was managed by Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers.
Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun drove in Cabrera with a double to open the scoring in the five-run first inning. Sandoval added his triple and Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla had a run-scoring infield single.
“I just wanted to show the fans they made the right choice,” Sandoval said in a televised interview.
Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal scored on teammate Matt Holliday’s single in the fourth before Cabrera hit his 388-foot home run to left field.
It was the first shutout in the All-Star Game since the NL won 6-0 in 1996, while the margin of victory was the highest since the AL won 13-3 in 1983.
The New York Mets will host next year’s All-Star Game at Citi Field.
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