(Rich Quiñones) – Seattle’s Robinson Cano homered off Cubs closer Wade Davis leading off the 10th inning to help propel the AL to a 2-1 win over the NL, to capture the All-Star game in Miami.
The veteran second baseman earned MVP honors with his one swing, as he sent a hanging curve off the back wall of the right-field bullpen to help the American League to its fifth straight win over the National league.
“He (Wade) throws the hard cutter,” Cano said afterwards. “In my head, I was thinking, ‘You need to get the (bat) head out in front.’ But he hung the breaking ball and I put a good swing on it.”
Even if it didn’t mean World Series home field for the winner, the game seemed to matter to both squads.
Boston’s Craig Kimbrel got out of a jam in the ninth inning, while Detroit’s Justin Upton contributed with a defensive gem, making a lunging catch in the 10th inning to help the AL.
Cleveland closer Andrew Miller shut down the NL in the ninth to finish off the win and garner the save for skipper Brad Mills, who took over the AL team because manager Terry Francona was recovering from a heart procedure last week.
The AL got on the board first when Minnesota’s Miguel Sano dropped a soft RBI single down the right-field line off of the Dodgers’ Alex Wood.
The lead would not last long as veteran catcher Yadier Molina tied up the game at 1-1, in the sixth frame with a solo shot off of Sano’s teammate Ervin Santana.
Molina, who was two days shy of his 35th birthday, became the oldest catcher with a homer in the All-Star game.
Yankees rookie slugger and sensation Aaron Judge went 0-for-3, with a strikeout, a day after winning the Homer Run Derby with 47 blasts, while Giancarlo Stanton, the hometown star of the Marlins, was 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts and a weak dribbler in front of the plate.
Multiple Hall of Famers from both Major League Baseball and the Negro Leagues were recognized and honored on the field before the game.
The talented group included Juan Marichal (Dominican Republic), Luis Aparicio (Venezuela), Rod Carew (Panama), Orlando Cepeda (Puerto Rico), Tony Perez (Cuba), Roberto Alomar (Puerto Rico), Pedro Martinez (Dominican Republic) and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez (Puerto Rico).
The late Roberto Clemente was represented by his wife, Vera, and sons Roberto Jr., Luis and Roberto Enrique.
Also recognized during the ceremony were the late Martín Dihigo, José Mendéz and Cristóbal Torriente, three Latino Hall of Famers who played in the Negro Leagues.
The second of the season begins Friday.