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Tigers' David Price gets win in All-Star Game

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Cincinnati — Mike Trout was the last man on the field at the 2014 All-Star Game, collecting his Corvette convertible for being named MVP.

He was the first man up in the 2015 All-Star Game, and the Angels star promptly hit a leadoff homer.

Trout's speed also sparked a later rally, leading the American League to a 6-3 victory over the National League at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday night before a crowd that was loud when cheering Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Todd Frazier and Aroldis Chapman, but pretty tame otherwise.

BOX SCORE: American League 6, National League 3

Trout was the MVP again, the first back-to-back winner. His gift this year: A Chevy Camaro.

"Special," Tigers ace David Price said in describing Trout. "When he gets out, I'm kind of let down."

In winning MVP last year, Trout beat out Miguel Cabrera, who homered. This year, he beat out former Tigers slugger Prince Fielder, now with the Rangers. Fielder had two RBIs in the win.

Fielder entered the game, rather surprisingly, as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning, setting up a lefty-lefty matchup against Dodgers ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw. It wasn't the conventional move, but, hey, when has AL (and Royals) manager Ned Yost been conventional?

It worked, of course, as Fielder singled sharply the other way to break a 1-1 tie.

"I know how tough an out he is," Yost said. "I felt good about Prince doing exactly what he did."

Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain, another lefty, followed Fielder with an RBI double and the AL was on its way to its 15th win in the last 19 years. The AL has only lost three times in that span; the other one was the infamous tie in 2002 that persuaded then-MLB commissioner Bud Selig to put World Series home-field advantage at stake for the Midsummer Exhibition.

Since then, the league that won the All-Star Game went on to win eight of 12 World Series.

Price pitched a perfect fourth inning to get the win — the first Tiger to win the All-Star Game since, well, Max Scherzer last year.

"I had no idea," Price said. "That's pretty cool."

Before Scherzer, the last Tigers pitcher to win the All-Star Game was Jim Bunning in 1957. A Detroit pitcher actually has a decision in three of the last four All-Star Games, as Justin Verlander lost in 2012.

Tigers fans hope the All-Star wins are all Price and Scherzer have in common, though Price is likely to follow Scherzer out of Detroit at the end of this season.

Price struck out two of his three hitters, Bryce Harper of the Nationals and Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks, both on nifty 86-mph change-ups. He got Giants catcher Buster Posey to line out sharply to right to finish the inning.

He left with the game tied, and Fielder un-tied it in the top of the fifth with his two-out single that scored Trout — who was on base because he hustled to beat out what Price called a "tailor-made" double-play ball.

"I just entered the game at the right time," Price said. "We had some guys come up with some big hits, Prince and Lorenzo Cain. I'll take it."

The AL added two more runs in the seventh, on Fielder's sacrifice fly and a double by Manny Machado of the Orioles. Twins slugger Brian Dozier capped the scoring with a long homer to center in the eighth.

Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen homered for the NL, and in the ninth, the Brewers' Ryan Braun tripled to set up the NL's final run.

The other two Tigers All-Stars in Cincy – elected starter Cabrera missed it with an injured calf – played the second half of the game.

Shortstop Jose Iglesias pinch-hit for starter Alcides Escobar in the top of the sixth inning, and promptly struck out on three pitches. Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom was unbelievable, striking out the side on 10 pitches, including no balls. Iglesias grounded out to third in his final at-bat, then showed off his awesome athleticism ranging far in the to snag a grounder by Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, then firing a strike in the eighth, earning a nice ovation.

Iglesias was gunning for another nice play, but Machado, a shortstop playing third base, cut in front of him to make the play. Iglesias wanted it, as he wants every ball.

"Playing with another shortstop next to you, it's fun but tricky at the same time," Iglesias said, with his 1,000-watt grin. "Definitely it's fun."

J.D. Martinez, meanwhile, took over in right field in the bottom of the sixth inning, and grounded out softly to shortstop in his only at-bat.

He was due up fifth in the ninth inning, a moot point when Chapman delighted the crowd by striking out the side and hitting 103 mph on the gun.

"I've faced him a couple times," said Martinez, "and it hasn't been fun."

There wasn't much doing on offense for the NL, which has scored six runs total the last three years.

Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu, the Brother Rice grad who started for the NL, played five innings and went 0-for-2, though he hit two line shots to the outfield. He made a nice play on defense.

Frazier, the Reds third baseman and big hero Monday night in winning the Home Run Derby, was cheered wildly before each at-bat. He proceeded to go 0-for-3.

"It's the best pitching in the world," Frazier said. "So not everybody's Mike Trout."

The night began with booming cheers, as the Reds unveiled their Franchise Four — Bench, Joe Morgan, Barry Larkin and Rose, who was attending his first All-Star Game since he was as player.

Rose has been a most popular story line this week, being Mr. Red, a Cincinnati native — and about to meet with the new commissioner, Rob Manfred, who will consider his reinstatement. He's been banned from the game since 1989, for betting as a manager and, unearthed recently, a player.

The other 29 teams unveiled their Franchise Four, as well, and the Tigers' was no surprise: Cabrera, Al Kaline, Hank Greenberg and Ty Cobb.