For the American League, it was a Royal flush in the All-Star Game on Tuesday night in San Diego.
The AL got all the runs it would need in the second inning as Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals smacked a solo homer and teammate Salvador Perez added a two-run shot. Hosmer added another RBI on a single and earned MVP honors. The Royals, of course, are defending World Series champions but are tied for third place in the AL Central, seven games behind the Cleveland Indians.
This victory could be important for the Royals, or the Indians, because the league that wins the All-Star Game gets home-field advantage in the World Series. The AL has won four consecutive All-Star games (and was considered the home team in this one, even though it was played in the National League San Diego Padres’ Petco Park). The World Series winner in six of the last seven years had home-field advantage, according to MLB.com.
The game was also the last All-Star appearance for David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. Big Papi, a 10-time selection, is retiring at season’s end, though his .332 average might make him change his mind. He lined out in the first inning and later walked. His removal for a pinch runner was greeted with a loud ovation.
MLB resumes its regular schedule on Friday. The only competitive division race at the moment is in the AL East, where the Baltimore Orioles lead the Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays by two games. The Texas Rangers, in the AL Central, have the next smallest lead, by 5 ½ games over the Houston Astros.
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman