Heading into Tuesday, everyone was focused on Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game. But it was the up-and-coming star, Mike Trout, that stole the show.
Trout went 2-for-3. He started the scoring by lacing a triple off the right field wall, scoring Jeter, who got on via a double. Pat Neshek left a slider on the middle part of the plate, and Trout added a go-ahead RBI double in the fifth, hitting a line drive just fair into left field. When Derek Norris came around to score, the American League had retaken the lead 4-3.
The American League would not lose that lead.
Neshek was replaced by Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard. Jose Altuve took the third pitch off of Clippard and drove a liner into left field. His sacrifice fly scored Alexei Ramirez, padding the American League's lead, 5-3. Altuve had done his job and was a big part of the win.
However, the scoring had to start somewhere. In the first, Jeter, leading off, took a 90 mph cutter off Adam Wainwright and drove it into the right field corner for a double. Wainwright would later say that he "grooved" the pitch to Jeter, but later took it back and said that he was trying to be humorous. Regardless of Wainwright actually grooving a pitch to Jeter, it must have not been his night. Two batters after the Trout double, Miguel Cabrera unloaded. He drove the second pitch, a sinker, to the right field stands.
The American League jumped out to a 3-0 lead. It was the National League's turn to do some damage.
The NL got two back in the top of the second. With one out and nobody on, Aramis Ramirez hit a liner right back up the middle for a single off of Jon Lester. After that, Chase Utley worked a seven pitch at bat off of the lefty, but Utley was the one who prevailed. The seventh pitch, a fastball that was middle-away, became an Utley double off the right field wall, scoring Ramirez. Jonathan Lucroy, the next batter, wanted in on the fun, as he doubled off of Lester as well, scoring Utley.
The National League would tie the game in the fourth on another Lucroy double.
After the American League took that lead in the fifth, it was all pitching. Including Max Scherzer's shutout fifth inning (he took the win), the American League pitching staff allowed just three hits in five innings, striking out nine National League hitters and walking just one.
The crowd of 41,048 in Minneapolis saw a Minnesota Twins battery close out the game in the ninth. Twins closer Glen Perkins, along with Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki, got Miguel Montero to fly out to center field, got Josh Harrison swinging, and got Charlie Blackmon to ground out to second base, securing the American League victory. Mike Trout's fantastic performance got him All-Star Game MVP honors.
The American League will now have home-field advantage in the 2014 World Series after taking this one by a score of 5-3.