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When the lineups for the 2012 All-Star Game from Kansas City were posted, most saw the American League as heavy favorites, especially given Justin Verlander would be pitching the first two innings. It was surprising to say the least that Verlander barely made it through the first, surrendering five runs out of the gate as a part of an 8-0 victory for the National League, who claim home field advantage in the 2012 World Series.
The scoring began when Ryan Braun doubled home Melky Cabrera in the first off the Tigers ace. Verlander allowed a bases clearing triple to Pablo Sandoval, who then scored on an infield base hit by Dan Uggla, making it 5-0 NL before the AL had a chance to hit.
The rest of the NL runs came in the fourth inning, as Rafael Furcal tripled to right and scored on an RBI single by his teammate Matt Holliday. With the Cardinals outfielder on base, Cabrera came up for the second time and delivered a two-run home run, giving the NL the 8-0 lead they would eventually win with.
The game had some notable moments outside of the scoring, such as two at bats from the home town slugger Billy Butler, who was notably left off the Home Run Derby by captain Robinson Cano to the anger of Kansas City fans. Greeted with large ovations in each of his at bats, Butler went 0-2 with a strikeout.
The crowd also cheered loudly for Chipper Jones, playing in his last All-Star Game as he prepares to retire following this season. Jones hit a soft bouncing ground ball to second base, where Ian Kinsler was playing up the middle, and Kinsler moved steadily towards the ball allowing for it to get through into right field for a base hit. Upon seeing the replay of being effectively awarded a base hit, Jones had tears in his eyes at first base.
While the Red Sox were not overly represented, they did have David Ortiz who batted seventh as the starting designated hitter for the American League. Ortiz had two at bats, recording one of the six AL base hits on the night. Mike Trout had the best game for the AL off the bench, reaching twice on a single and a walk while also stealing a base.
For the NL though the night was truly highlighted by great pitching and the early offense including the blast by Melky Cabrera, who was named MVP. Matt Cain picked up the victory after throwing two innings to start, with ten pitchers following him in relief, including Jonathan Papelbon recording the final out.
Tags: Billy Butler, Chipper Jones, Dan Uggla, David Ortiz, Ian Kinsler, Jonathan Papelbon, Justin Verlander, Matt Cain, Matt Holliday, Melky Cabrera, Mike Trout, MLB All-Star Game, Pablo Sandoval, Rafael Furcal, Robinson Cano, Ryan Braun