Dan's Dugout: AL Power Prevails Again • Latino Sports

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Dan’s Dugout: AL Power Prevails Again

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SAN DIEGO – It wasn’t enough that the American League was the home team in a National League park. It also treated the host San Diego Padres rudely.

Retiring slugger David Ortiz received a standing ovation from AL teammates when he left the game

Retiring slugger David Ortiz received a standing ovation from AL teammates when he left the game.

After spotting the Nationals a 1-0 lead on a Kris Bryant home run in the first, the AL answered with a pair of circuit shots in the second. Eric Hosmer hit a solo and Sal Perez, the leading vote-getter in fan balloting, hit a two-run shot.

Hosmer later added an RBI single. The blows sent the American League toward their fourth straight victory in the All-Star Game and ensured that its pennant-winner would have home-field advantage in the World Series. Determining which league bats last is part of a new MLB mandate alternating ballparks no matter which league plays there during the regular season.

The next two All-Star Game are also scheduled for National League parks but only in odd-numbered years will the NL squad bat last. The 83rd All-Star Game, the third to be played in San Diego,

Chris Sale spotted the NL an early 1-0 lead

Chris Sale spotted the NL an early 1-0 lead

featured 30 foreign-born All-Stars, 13 of them from the Dominican Republic. Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera was the veteran with 11 appearances, one more than David Ortiz. There were 34 first-time All-Stars but only one rookie: Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager.

He is so little-known outside Los Angeles that his name was spelled wrong in the press notes handed out before the game. The Chicago Cubs, whose fans apparently stuffed the ballot box, had seven players, including their entire starting infield, to dominate the NL roster. The Boston Red Sox had six, one more than the Baltimore Orioles, to lead the AL.

Johnny Cueto had a rough second inning. Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Cueto had a rough second inning. Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

National League starting pitcher Johnny Cueto, who has won 13 of 14 decisions since signing with San Francisco as a free agent, opened the game against White Sox southpaw Chris Sale, a five-time All-Star. Sale was lifted after one inning of work but Cueto attempted to pitch through the second. He didn ‘t make it.

The crowd, on the other hand, was into the game from the start. Petco was sold out, with paid attendance announced as 42,286. Star Gazing: Jose Altuve, Houston’s second baseman, has been an All-Star in both leagues without changing teams; his team changes leagues instead.

Instant replay was used for the first time in All-Star history after Daniel Murphy was called out at first on a force play in the fifth inning. The umpire’s call was overruled . . . Marcell Ozuna of the Miami Marlins tightened the game with an RBI single in the top of the fourth . . . Angels outfielder Mike Trout, the only man to win successive All-Star MVP awards, singled in the first, giving him hits in all five of his All-Star appearances . . .

Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner had hoped to pitch in the game but disqualified himself when he threw a one-hitter Sunday . . . Joe Torre and wife Ali had breakfast Tuesday morning at Sofia Hotel, a member of Historic Hotels of America on West Broadway . . . Two-time MVP Dale Murphy was in town to sign autographs at FanFest . . . Home Run Derby winner Giancarlo Stanton, who reached the stands 61 times last night, is the hottest slugger in the game right now, a fact that worries the New York Mets . . .

Look for a flurry of deals, probably including Dodgers slugger Yasiel Puig, right after the break.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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