DETROIT -- Two years ago, the All-Star Game was Garret Anderson's personal stage, with the Angels left fielder winning the Home Run Derby and the MVP of the Midsummer Classic. This time around, the game was well in hand for the AL by the time he entered left field in the fourth, and he wound up going 0-for-2 at the plate in the American League's 7-5 victory over the National League at Comerica Park. But just being part of the American League's victory Tuesday night was rewarding enough for Anderson.
Besides, the events of the 2003 game at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field were pretty much once-in-a-lifetime stuff. "You can't expect to do that every time," Anderson said with a big smile after Tuesday's game. "I just go out there and play hard, and as long as I do that I can feel good about it." Anderson was one of three Angels All-Stars, and all three saw action. Vladimir Guerrero started in right field, making his sixth appearance overall and his third after being elected by the fans as a starter. Ace right-hander Bartolo Colon got in a scoreless inning of work. Colon can relate to Anderson as far as having a different experience at the 2005 All-Star Game -- in a good way. The last time Colon was on the All-Star roster was his first and only time before this one, in 1998 when he was with the Indians. He didn't fare so well that time, giving up three earned runs on two hits and a homer. But he made 2005 a sweeter memory with a scoreless third inning for the American League. Colon recorded the first out on a flyout to Guerrero in right by former Angels teammate David Eckstein, now with the Cardinals. "I thought Vladdy was going to try and hook me up a little bit, but he was able to catch it," Eckstein said. "It was pretty cool facing Bartolo. If anybody knows Bartolo, he's an awesome person. Just a great guy. That was pretty cool. "I think that's probably the first ball I've ever hit to right field that Vladdy's seen. He didn't think it was going to go that far." After recording the first two outs, Colon allowed a single to Carlos Beltran and then threw a wild pickoff attempt that got past first baseman Mark Teixeira of the Rangers. As the ball skidded into foul territory alongside right field, Beltran sprinted from first to third but thought better of running all the way home with Guerrero tracking down the ball. Guerrero made it look like a wise move with a rocket on the fly home, albeit a bit offline.
Colon got out of it on a high fly ball to center by Albert Pujols, securing the shutout for the AL for the time being.Guerrero finished off his night with a single in the bottom of the sixth. He was replaced by pinch-runner Alfonso Soriano of the Rangers, who scored one batter later on Teixeira's opposite-field homer to right-center field. Guerrero is now 4-for-13 in his five career All-Star appearances. Anderson, meanwhile, made a nice play on a ball down the line by speedy Marlin Luis Castillo to hold him to a single in the seventh. At the plate, he grounded out his first time up against Roger Clemens and then struck out in the seventh against Astros closer Brad Lidge. "I'd never faced him before, so I was just watching the other guys face him before me," Anderson said. "I saw he started them off with fastballs, but then he started me off with a curve. That's baseball for you." Once the quintessential underappreciated player, Anderson left his third All-Star appearance feeling appreciated, indeed. "The last two times, I was voted in by my peers," Anderson said. "They're the toughest critics you can have, so I definitely appreciate being here and being voted into the game by the players."
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.