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2011 MLB All-Star Game: National League Defeats American League 5-1

Home field advantage for the 2011 World Series goes to the National League, as the NL All-Stars defeated the AL All-Stars on Tuesday night in Arizona by a final score of 5-1.

The men that were given the honor of being the starting pitchers for this one were the Los Angeles Angels' Jered Weaver for the American League and Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies for the National League. Neither of them gave up a run in their time in the game, but Weaver only went one inning. In fact, Halladay was the only pitcher for either side to pitch two full innings. Overall, nineteen pitchers took to the mound for this one, ten for the National League and nine for the American League.

The AL struck first in this one against Halladay's Philadelphia teammate, Cliff Lee, when Boston Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-out solo home run to left field in the top of the fourth to give the Junior Circuit a 1-0 lead. The American League kept the rally going with consecutive singles by Toronto's Jose Bautista and Texas' Josh Hamilton to put runners on first and second. Then, Adrian Beltre of the Rangers singled to left, but Bautista was thrown out at home plate by left fielder Hunter Pence of the Houston Astros.

The NL wasted no time in answering back against new pitcher C.J. Wilson, also of the Rangers. The New York Mets' Carlos Beltran and Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers opened the inning with singles, and Milwaukee Brewers' first baseman Prince Fielder brought them both home with a big home run to center field, giving the National League a 3-1 lead that they would never relinquish.

The National League added another run in the bottom of the fifth, when a single by the Dodgers' Andre Ethier brought the Brewers' Rickie Weeks in to score. Ethier was thrown out attempting to stretch it into a double to end the inning. The NL then concluded the scoring in the bottom of the seventh, when a ground rule double to left field by the San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval scored Pence with the National League's fifth run.

The American League attempted to make a bit of a comeback in the top of the ninth inning, as Carlos Quention of the Chicago White Sox reached on an error with one out, and Tampa Bay's Matt Joyce followed that with a single to right, advancing to second on the throw to put runners on second and third. Twins' first baseman Michael Cuddyer, who entered the game at first base in the bottom of the seventh inning, came to the plate against Giants' closer Brian Wilson (and his beard). Cuddyer flew out to right for the second out of the inning, and Wilson got Chicago's Paul Konerko to ground out to shortstop to end the ball game.

Washington Nationals' reliever Tyler Clippard was given credit for the victory in the 2011 MLB All-Star Game, and Wilson was credited with the save. Wilson was credited with the loss for the American League, who dropped their second straight Mid-Summer Classic.

Regular season MLB action will kick off again on Thursday.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.