NL Ends 14-Year All-Star Game Drought
For the past seven years.
The Braves' catcher ripped a two-out, three-run double in the seventh inning, putting the National League on top on its way to a streak-busting 3-1 victory in the All-Star Game on Tuesday night before 45,408 at Angel Stadium.
The NL had lost seven games in a row, and their winless streak -- including the infamous 2002 tie -- stretched all the way back to 1996. With the victory, the NL earned home-field advantage in the World Series.
McCann was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
The NL squad had not been able to find a clutch hit for the most of the night, and it trailed 1-0 after the AL scored an unearned run in the fifth inning.
With one out in the seventh, the NL mounted a rally against Phil Hughes. Scott Rolen singled. Matt Holliday followed with a single up the middle, and Rolen hustled to third on the play.
Lefty Matt Thornton was summoned for the AL. He got pinch-hitter Chris Young on a popup for the second out, but Marlon Byrd drew a walk before McCann yanked a line drive into the right-field corner, clearing the bases.
With nine outs to go to secure the victory, NL manager Charlie Manuel first gave the ball to Adam Wainwright. Wainwright got into a jam because teammate Matt Holliday misplayed a tough line drive into a double, but Wainwright escaped by striking out Torii Hunter, disappointing the Angels fans, to strand two runners.
Giants closer Brian Wilson pitched the eighth and Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton worked the ninth.
The AL made one last-ditch effort to maintain its streak, as David Ortiz singled off Broxton to lead off the ninth. But with one out, John Buck blooped one into right that looked like it might hang up for Byrd. Ortiz hesitated, then chugged for second when the ball dropped in, but Byrd made a fantastic spinning throw to force him out at second. Ian Kinsler then flied out to officially end the AL's reign. .
That finished off a game that was dominated by the pitchers. Starters Ubaldo Jimenez and David Price, each making his All-Star debut, both worked two scoreless innings.
The AL followed with scoreless one-inning stints for Andy Pettitte, Cliff Lee, Justin Verlander and Jon Lester, before Hughes gave up the lead in the seventh.
The NL used Josh Johnson for two and then Manuel started getting creative with his pitchers, using them situationally. Hong-Chih Kuo pitched the fifth, giving up an unearned run created by his own throwing error. Roy Halladay started the sixth and Matt Capps finished it. Capps ended up being the pitcher of record when the NL took the lead.
So Capps, who struck out Ortiz, the only batter he faced, became the answer to a trivia question: Who was the winning pitcher when the NL won the All-Star Game for the first time in 14 years?
Click below for FanHouse TV's All-Star Game recap: