National League scores early and often in lopsided win

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 11, 2012 - 6:40 AM

The National League pounced on Justin Verlander for five first-inning runs, got plenty of production from its Giants contingent and cruised to an easy victory.

KANSAS CITY, MO. - The All-Star Game hadn't produced a first-inning meltdown like the one Justin Verlander had Tuesday night since 2004, when Roger Clemens surrendered six runs in a highly anticipated start before his hometown fans in Houston.

Verlander, the American League's reigning MVP and Cy Young Award winner, gave up five first-inning runs, and with the way the AL offense has been hitting in recent years, it was basically game over.

A trio of San Francisco Giants turned in the biggest performances, and Joe Mauer was relegated to a late-game cameo at first base, as the National League rolled to an 8-0 victory at Kauffman Stadium.

Giants righthander Matt Cain set the tone for the NL's pitching brilliance, breezing through the first two innings. His San Francisco teammate Pablo Sandoval hit a three-run triple in the first inning off Verlander, and Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera earned All-Star MVP honors, going 2-for-3 with a two-run homer.

The NL claimed home-field advantage in the World Series again, extending a three-game All-Star winning streak in which it has outscored the AL 16-2.

"The talk the last few years was that we couldn't lose before that," Mauer said, referencing the AL's unbeaten streak from 1997 to 2009. "It goes in cycles."

Verlander admitted he wasn't himself in the first inning. He has given up six first-inning runs combined in 18 starts for the Tigers this year. His forte has been an ability to save his hardest pitches for big, late-inning jams. In his July 4 complete game against the Twins, he tossed his fastball 91 miles per hour in the first inning.

This time, in his first All-Star start, his first two pitches were 97 and 98 mph. The radar gun might have been juiced, but he reached 100 mph six times in the 35-pitch inning, and topped out at 101.

"That's why I don't try to throw 100 all the time," Verlander said. "It usually doesn't work out too well for me. I know this game is important, that it's for home-field advantage, but it's for the fans. They don't want to see me throw 90 and paint corners. They want to see a 100 mph fastball. I gave 'em that."

The NL sent nine batters to the plate in the first. Ryan Braun's RBI double opened the scoring, and Sandoval broke things open with his two-out, bases-clearing triple off the right field wall. Dan Uggla added an RBI single that inning, as former Twins closer Joe Nathan started warming in the bullpen.

"The only thing you can say is [Verlander's] not used to throwing 100 in the first," said Nathan, who pitched a scoreless second inning. "He's usually 92-93 and lights it up when he needs to."

The NL added three runs off Rangers lefthander Matt Harrison in the fourth inning. Tony La Russa, who retired after leading the Cardinals to the World Series title last year, picked St. Louis outfielder Matt Holliday to pinch-hit for Carlos Gonzalez, and Holliday delivered a two-out, RBI single to right field before Cabrera followed with his two-run homer.

It was quite a homecoming for Cabrera, who had 201 hits for the Royals last year before getting traded to the Giants for lefthander Jonathan Sanchez.

"I didn't come to win an MVP," Cabrera said. "That's just a surprise."

La Russa pushed all the right buttons, starting with his decision to start Cain over knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. La Russa's plan was to hold off on Dickey until mid-game, when he could enter with backup catcher Carlos Ruiz.

Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg and Clayton Kershaw followed Cain with an inning apiece before Dickey entered with Ruiz in the sixth. Cole Hamels pitched the seventh before the NL, in true La Russa fashion, used five relievers to get through the final two innings.

"I was aware that this was going to be it," La Russa said, knowing this was his final game as a manager. "You just get wrapped up like you usually do in trying to win the game. It consumes you."

Mauer entered at first base in the eighth inning and gave Twins fans a quick highlight with a sharp single off Diamondbacks lefthander Wade Miley in the ninth.

"It was a great event," Mauer said. "I was glad to get in the game there at the end and come up with a hit."

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: National 8, American 0

    Wednesday July 11, 2012

  • Photo gallery: All-Stars: NL 8, AL 0

    Wednesday July 11, 2012

    The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Kansas City on Monday, July 10, 2012.

  • Twins officials study K.C., await word on 2014 game

    Wednesday July 11, 2012

    All signs still point toward the Twins being awarded the 2014 All-Star Game, with a formal announcement expected sometime in the next two months.

  • Mauer's night in the All-Star Game

    Wednesday July 11, 2012

    His entrance: Mike Napoli started the game at catcher, and Matt Wieters replaced him in the sixth inning. Mauer entered at first base in the eighth.

  • National League's Pablo Sandoval, of the San Francisco Giants, hits a three-run triple off American League's Justin Verlander, of the Detroit Tigers, in the first inning the MLB All-Star game Tuesday.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota0000101002100
Baltimore «00010110X381
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:A.Miller(5-5) L:J.Burton(2-3) S:Z.Britton (30)
HR: MIN- None BAL- J.Paredes (1)

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota - LP: J. Burton 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 3
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2
Miami - WP: J. Cosart 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Boston - LP: A. Webster 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7
Cleveland - WP: J. Tomlin 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: S. Downs 2
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Bassitt 4
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
Colorado - WP: T. Matzek 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wada 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 13
Los Angeles - LP: J. Wright 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Stauffer 2
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Peavy 3
Oakland - LP: J. Samardzija 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: Y. Herrera 2
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 3 FINAL
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 1
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 FINAL
(13) LSU 28
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 13 FINAL
(3) Oregon 62
(25) Washington 17 FINAL
Hawaii 16
Utah State 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Portland 3 FINAL
Vancouver FC 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close