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Soria left watching as AL's streak ends

Soria left watching as AL's streak ends

ANAHEIM -- Joakim Soria will have to be content with being the Major League leader in saves. He did not get to demonstrate what got him to the top of the list on Tuesday night in the All-Star Game.

Soria, the Royals' only representative at the Midsummer Classic, was left warming up in the American League bullpen as the National League ended a 13-year drought with a 3-1 victory at Angel Stadium.

If the AL had rallied to tie the game in the ninth, Soria would have been manager Joe Girardi's pitcher in the 10th inning.

"We lost. It's part of the game," Soria said. "But I was warming up and ready. If we tied it, I was going into the game."

Oakland closer Andrew Bailey pitched in the seventh inning, Tampa Bay closer Rafael Soriano wheeled off a scoreless eighth and Detroit closer Jose Valverde struck out the side in the ninth.

But Soria and Texas' Neftali Feliz, the other closer on the roster, stayed in the bullpen.

"It was still fun," Soria said. "It was a lot of being here and being in the All-Star Game and being around all these guys."  

Good thing he got a little work in the Royals' series finale at Chicago on Sunday. Although the White Sox were rolling to a 15-5 win, Soria pitched to three batters in the ninth just to get some work. He had not pitched since the previous Wednesday at Seattle.

His second All-Star participation made a big impression on the 26-year-old Soria.

"Awesome. It has been awesome," he said before the game. "It's a great event. It's an honor to be here. I'm proud to be here and proud to represent the Royals and Mexico."

Soria had a large family gathering that included his parents, his wife Karla's parents and, of course, Karla and little daughter Angela.

Even though Soria didn't get in this game, he had pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings in his previous All-Star appearance at Yankee Stadium in 2008. He worked in the 11th and 12th innings as the AL won, 4-3, in 15 innings.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Reporter Dick Kaegel contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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