2009 MLB All-Star Game: American League Wins Seventh Straight

Carmine CarusoCorrespondent IJuly 15, 2009

Mariano Rivera closed out the All-Star Game for the all-time record fourth time in his career Tuesday night, as the American League All-Stars defeated the National League All-Stars by a score of 4-3. The American League has now won seven straight mid-summer classics, and has not lost in twelve straight, with 2002 being a tie.

The AL All-Stars wasted no time scoring, grabbing a lead in the first inning off of reigning Cy Young Award winner and San Fransisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum.

Mark Teixeira hit into an error by Albert Pujols that could have been a double play, but instead scored his New York Yankees teammate Derek Jeter. Josh Hamilton then grounded into a fielder's choice that scored Joe Mauer, giving the American League an early two-run lead.

The National League, however, would soon answer.

In the bottom of the second, Roy Halladay was roughed up by the NL after having pitched a 1-2-3 first inning. He retired Ryan Braun and Raul Ibanez to begin the inning, but surrendered three straight singles to David Wright, Shane Victorino, and Yadier Molina.

A throwing error by Josh Hamilton scored the second National League run in Victorino, and Molina advanced to second base on the same play. Prince Fielder, pinch hitting for Tim Lincecum, then doubled to bring in Molina and took the lead for the National League, 3-2.

There was no further scoring from that point until the fifth inning, when the American League tied the game at three all. Derek Jeter grounded into a fielder's choice and scored from first base on a Joe Mauer double off of Chad Billingsley.

After Jason Bartlett grounded out to begin the eighth inning, Curtis Granderson hit a triple off of Heath Bell. Adam Jones then made the second out, though it was a sacrifice fly that scored Granderson and proved to be the game-winning RBI.

The American League pitching, excluding the second inning, held the NL to only two hits on the night. Jonathon Papelbon pitched a 1-2-3 seventh that was thanks mainly to Carl Crawford robbing Brad Hawpe of a home run in left field.

Joe Nathan then retired the side in the eighth, and Mariano Rivera closed the show with a perfect ninth. Papelbon, despite almost blowing the game for the AL, was credited with the win, while Rivera picked up the save.

Carl Crawford was named MVP of the All-Star game. He had a single in three at-bats with no runs scored or driven in, but was given the award for his fantastic catch over the left field fence in the seventh inning.