DETROIT -- Kansas City's Mike Sweeney stepped to the plate at Comerica Park before 41,617 on Tuesday night and stared down Houston's electric closer Brad Lidge.
"I've seen him in the playoffs," Sweeney said. "I was thinking to myself, 'Of all the guys that I'm gonna face.' You know, I'll take the challenge of anybody -- but he's got the best stuff out there."
Lidge mixed his fastball and slider to strike out Sweeney swinging in his only at-bat, dropping the Kansas City slugger to 0-4 lifetime in All-Star Games.
A string of American League pitchers blanked the National League squad through the first six innings, lifting the American League to a 7-5 victory. Baltimore's Miguel Tejada, the game's MVP, provided the offensive spark, going 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs.
Sweeney, developing into an All-Star regular with his fifth selection to the game, didn't deliver that impact moment he hoped for in the victory.
"I keep getting my token at-bats," the Royals' lone representative said Monday. "I want to get a couple of at-bats and see what I can do."
The AL continued its run of recent success with the victory. The NL has not won the Midsummer Classic since 1996 in Philadelphia at Veterans Stadium.
"There's no rhyme or reason," said the Royals first baseman, unable to explain his league's recent domination.
Sweeney remains in Detroit and returns to Comerica Park on Thursday, when the Royals open a four-game set against the Tigers.
Patrick Mooney is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.