American League shows off strong arms in All-Star Game shutout

Joe Mauer had the best seat in the house — and a hand in the result — as AL pitching dominated.

Joe Mauer was 1-for-2 with a single off a shortstop’s glove. Andrew McCutchen stole a base on him, barely beating his throw.

But Mauer did have an impact in the American League’s 3-0 victory over the National League in the 84th All-Star Game on Tuesday night.

He was behind the plate as AL pitchers dominated early and made it a long night for a talented NL lineup. The NL had one hit over the first four innings, two base runners over the first six as the American League ended a three-game losing streak to the other league. It was the first time the NL was shut out in the Midsummer Classic since 1990 at Wrigley Field. The NL collected two hits that night in Chicago, and this year’s team matched that total until Paul Goldschmidt doubled off closer Joe Nathan in the ninth for the National League’s third hit.

“You could see that they mowed them down pretty good,’’ said Twins closer Glen Perkins, who warmed up three times but was not used in the game.

Three hits. One walk. That was it for the NL batters, who struck out eight times.

The run began with the wins leader in baseball, Tigers righthander Max Scherzer, pitching a scoreless inning. White Sox lefthander Chris Sale pitched two scoreless innings, striking out two. Then a former Cy Young Award winner, Seattle’s Felix Hernandez, gave up a hit but pitched a scoreless fourth.

Scherzer (13-1) entered the All-Star break second in the AL with 152 strikeouts. Hernandez is third with 140 and Sale fifth with 131. Mauer, playing in his sixth All-Star Game, handled each pitcher expertly.

“Obviously, throwing to a catcher like Joe is awesome,’’ Sale said. “He’s a class act. He’s a professional. He’s great. I just kind of went off his lead and we were able to pull it out.’’

To be part of such a pitching performance, Sale said: “To see that, watch that, experience that, was fun.’’

Mauer said Hernandez was the only pitcher to shake him off, which happened a couple of times. That was the added challenge of catching elite pitchers.

“It’s nerve-racking too because you go out there and you don’t know how many pitches guys have,’’ Mauer said. “A guy gets on third base, and Hernandez was throwing balls that were moving in every sort of direction. Definitely want to catch it and keep it in front of me. But it was fun. Those guys are definitely there for a reason.’’

The American League’s pitching power came in all shapes, angles and velocities. National League hitters were overwhelmed. An announced crowd of 45,186 — a record crowd at Citi Field — was subdued for most of the game.

The AL eventually broke through, when Toronto’s Jose Bautista lofted a sacrifice fly to center field, enabling Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera to score the first run in the fourth. The AL added a second run in the fifth when Adam Jones doubled, Mauer singled off Troy Tulo- witzki’s glove at short and Jones scored on a groundout.

The AL pitchers went through the NL with ease.

Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore, a promising young lefthander, pitched the fifth. AL skipper Jim Leyland then went to his stable of lightning-armed relievers. Oakland’s Grant Balfour pitched the sixth. His first batter was Michael Cuddyer, making an interesting triumvirate of players with Twins ties. Cuddyer drew a walk.

As Cuddyer walked to the plate, Mauer said to him. “Check out this battery.’’

Tuesday’s game also featured a wave of new players. Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis, Baltimore’s Manny Machado and Miami’s Jose Fernandez were part of a record 39 first-time All-Stars.

Perkins also was part of that group. He watched as Leyland sent Hall of Fame-bound reliever Mariano Rivera to the mound in the eighth.

“I was just trying to take it all in,’’ Perkins said.

Rivera pitched a scoreless eighth, with Joe Nathan getting the save in the ninth. Rivera, however, was named Most Valuable Player and given a new car.

No one complained because Rivera is retiring at the end of the season, and doing so in style. He has a career 0.00 ERA (one unearned run) in nine All-Star Game appearances.

His AL teammates remained in the dugout Tuesday as Rivera came in from the bullpen, with his entry song at Yankee Stadium, “Enter Sandman,’’ playing. Fans gave him a long standing ovation.

“I heard that song in another stadium, and that was great,’’ Rivera said. “And when I got to the mound, I see both sides, both teams in the dugout, and it was amazing. It almost made me cry, too. I was close.’’

 

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Atlanta 7 FINAL
Baltimore 29
Tennessee 17 FINAL
Washington 19
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Cleveland 6 FINAL
Jacksonville 24
Cincinnati 0 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Miami 27 FINAL
Chicago 14
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Detroit 24
Carolina 17 FINAL
Green Bay 38
Kansas City 23 FINAL
San Diego 20
Arizona 24 FINAL
Oakland 13
NY Giants 21 FINAL
Dallas 31
San Francisco 17 FINAL
Denver 42
Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
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Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Boston 95 FINAL
Brooklyn 90
Minnesota 112 FINAL
Oklahoma City 94
Golden State 83 FINAL
Houston 90
Charlotte 96 FINAL
Chicago 101
Utah 91 FINAL
LA Lakers 98
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
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NY Rangers 4
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Anaheim 3
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Louisiana Tech 27
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(22) West Virginia 41
(11) Kansas State 31 FINAL
(17) Oklahoma 30
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Maryland 38
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Tulsa 30
Tulane 13 FINAL
UCF 20
Virginia 13 FINAL
Duke 20
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Ohio U 23
Western Mich 26 FINAL
Bowling Green 14
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
Massachusetts 36
Appalachian St 53 FINAL
Troy 14
(25) UCLA 36 FINAL
California 34
Texas A&M 0 FINAL
(4) Alabama 59
Army 17 FINAL
Kent State 39
Kansas 21 FINAL
Texas Tech 34
UAB 22 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 34
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(13) Ohio State 56
(8) Michigan State 56 FINAL
Indiana 17
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Air Force 35
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Louisville 30
(21) Clemson 17 FINAL
Boston College 13
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Central Mich 29
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
SMU 3
(9) Georgia 45 FINAL
Arkansas 32
Oklahoma State 9 FINAL
(10) TCU 42
San Jose St 27 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Miami-Ohio 41 FINAL
Northern Ill 51
New Mexico St 17 FINAL
Idaho 29
Colorado 28 FINAL
(20) USC 56
(23) Marshall 45 FINAL
FIU 13
Southern Miss 30 FINAL
North Texas 20
Georgia Tech 43 FINAL
North Carolina 48
Tennessee 3 FINAL
(3) Ole Miss 34
Utah State 13 FINAL
Colorado State 16
Missouri 42 FINAL
Florida 13
Kentucky 3 FINAL
(24) LSU 41
(16) Nebraska 38 FINAL
Northwestern 17
Georgia State 27 FINAL
South Alabama 30
Washington 20 FINAL
(6) Oregon 45
Iowa State 45 FINAL
Texas 48
(7) Notre Dame 27 FINAL
(2) Florida State 31
Nevada 42 FINAL
BYU 35
Stanford 10 FINAL
(14) Arizona State 26
Hawaii 10 FINAL
San Diego St 20
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
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(18) East Carolina
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Virginia Tech
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Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
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Georgia State
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Miami-Ohio
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(23) Marshall
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(8) Michigan State
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Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
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Washington St
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Colorado State
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(21) Clemson
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ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
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(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
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(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
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Ottawa 6 FINAL
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