Joe Nathan gets surprise save chance at All-Star game

  • Article by: HOWIE RUMBERG , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: July 17, 2013 - 12:25 AM

NEW YORK — Joe Nathan never expected to be pitching for a save. Not with baseball's career saves leader alongside him in the bullpen.

The Texas Rangers closer was called upon to finish off the American League's 3-0 win Tuesday night in the All-Star game at Citi Field after Mariano Rivera came on for the eighth inning.

"I didn't know I was coming in to close until I was actually coming in from the bullpen," Nathan said.

No slouch of a stopper himself, Nathan has 328 saves for Minnesota, Texas and San Francisco in a 13-year career. He has 30 this season — the same as Mo.

But everyone in the bullpen was ready to defer to Rivera on this night.

The six-time All-Star struck out Matt Carpenter looking and Andrew McCutchen swinging before Paul Goldschmidt doubled. Nathan then retired fellow New York native Pedro Alvarez on a popup to second base.

After the final out, Nathan got the game ball but he knew it didn't belong to him. He gave it to Mo.

"No brainer. I wanted it, but I wanted to give it to him more," Nathan said. "Outstanding to be able to hand the ball over to him that I saved with him the in bullpen was pretty cool. No secret how much I look up to him and be able to do that for him was awesome.

___

CANO, CANO: Miguel Cabrera flung his bat into the stands when he swung and missed at a pitch from Patrick Corbin in the fourth inning. The flying bat nearly hit a child wearing, yup, a Robinson Cano Yankees jersey.

The real Cano had less luck than the boy. He was hit on the right leg by a pitch from Matt Harvey in the first inning and had to come out of the game.

"It's a little tight, I came out of the game because I didn't want to aggravate it," he said. "Nothing bad. They told me it's a bruise, and ice the next few days."

___

TORII TIME: Torii Hunter was an All-Star rookie in 2002 when he robbed Barry Bonds of a home run and got a big bear hug from the slugger on the field. Now he's a veteran voice in a clubhouse with a record number of newcomers.

The always loquacious, ever-smiling 37-year-old Detroit Tigers outfielder is enjoying his role as a five-time All-Star selection.

With possible suspensions from the Biogenesis investigation looming over the game, Hunter defended Alex Rodriguez and other players who have been implicated in drug scandals over the years.

"I know how hard this game really is. I don't care what they did or who did or whatever, Barry Bonds all those guys," Hunter said Tuesday before the game at Citi Field. "Still impressive to hit. Still got to hit the ball."

On the lighter side, Hunter has his favorite All-Stars. Wacky All-Stars, that is.

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Cleveland - LP: T. House 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: A. Simon 4
Chicago Cubs 0 Postponed
Cincinnati 0
Kansas City 0 Postponed
Chicago WSox 0
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 9 FINAL
Oakland - LP: K. Graveman 3
NY Mets - WP: M. Harvey 8 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Sabathia 2
Washington - LP: S. Strasburg 0 FINAL
Miami - WP: T. Koehler 8
Toronto - LP: B. Cecil 2 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: E. Frieri 4
Atlanta - WP: S. Miller 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: D. Buchanan 2
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Matusz 5
St. Louis - WP: M. Belisle 5 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 3
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 1
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 5 FINAL
Colorado - LP: B. Brown 4
Los Angeles - WP: B. McCarthy 11 FINAL
San Diego - LP: I. Kennedy 8
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: V. Pestano 4
Minnesota - WP: T. Stauffer 8 FINAL
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 5
Atlanta 83 FINAL
Brooklyn 91
Chicago 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 92
Golden State 109 FINAL
New Orleans 98
Memphis 115 FINAL
Portland 109
Washington 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Detroit 4 FINAL
Tampa Bay 0
Nashville 3 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 4 FINAL
Calgary 7
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Columbus 4
Real Salt Lake 0 FINAL
New England 4
Sporting Kansas City 4 FINAL
Houston 4
D.C. 2 FINAL
Vancouver FC 1
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