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Archive for Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A long goodbye in New York

Final All-Star game at Yankee Stadium is marathon

July 16, 2008

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Kansas City's Joakim Soria pitches during the 12th inning of the All-Star game.

Kansas City's Joakim Soria pitches during the 12th inning of the All-Star game.

— Baseball's All-Stars came to say goodbye to Yankee Stadium - and what a long, long goodbye it was.

In a game that started Tuesday night and faded well into today, Justin Morneau slid home just in time on Michael Young's sacrifice fly in the 15th inning, giving the American League a 4-3 victory that extended its unbeaten streak to 12.

Young ended a 4-hour, 40-minute marathon at 1:37 a.m., with the grand old ballpark half-empty. It was a good thing, too - neither team had any pitchers left in the bullpen.

The NL was given a pregame pep talk by Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, whose motto is: "Let's play two!" And they nearly did, matching the longest All-Star game ever.

Morneau started the winning rally with a leadoff single against loser Brad Lidge, and Ian Kinsler hit a low liner to left that Ryan Ludwick caught with a dive. After Dioner Navarro singled, J.D. Drew walked to load the bases.

Young lofted a fly to right, and Cory Hart's throw home took two bounces and was slightly to the first-base side of the plate.

Catcher Brian McCann gloved the ball and tried a sweep tag, but Young sneaked his right foot in, barely ahead of the tag. Plate umpire Derryl Cousins made the safe call, and the AL players left in the dugout rushed out to celebrate.

The AL improved to 6-0 since the All-Star game began determining homefield advantage in the World Series. And it even ended an old hex - it had been 0-9-1 in extra innings against its older rival.

Young got the winning hit off Trevor Hoffman in the 2006 All-Star game at Pittsburgh, and it gave the win to Tampa Bay's Scott Kazmir, the 12th AL pitcher.

Drew was picked as the MVP. His two-run homer in the seventh made it 2-all. Being from Boston, he was booed when presented with his trophy.

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