But the most exciting moment in the game came in the bottom of the ninth after right fielder Tony Oliva of the hometown Twins opened the inning with a lead-off double against the Cardinals Bob Gibson.
Oliva never moved.
Indians third baseman Max Alvis popped out in a failed attempt to bunt Oliva to third. Gibson then struck out first baseman Harmon Killebrew of the Twins and pinch-hitter Joe Pepitone of the Yankees to seal the National League's third straight win and eighth in the last nine games that were played to a conclusion.
The win also gave the National League the lead in the series (18-17) for the first time since the All-Star Game's inception in 1933.
At the start of the game, it appeared there would be no need for late-game heroics. The National League took a 5-0 lead after the first two innings while Juan Marichal of the Giants was allowing one hit over three otherwise perfect innings to win the All-Star Game's coveted Most Valuable Player Award.
Giants center fielder Willie Mays opened the game with a 415-foot, lead-off homer against American League starter Milt Pappas of the Baltimore Orioles. Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Willie Stargell singled with one out and scored on a two-run homer by Milwaukee Braves catcher Joe Torre to make it 3-0 before the American League had a chance to hit.
Marichal drew a walk from Twins pitcher Jim "Mudcat" Grant to open the second and scored on Stargell's two-out, two-run homer to right center.
But the American League tied the game, scoring five runs against the Reds' Jim Maloney in the fourth and fifth - four of the runs scoring on two-run, two-out homers by Detroit shortstop Dick McAuliffe and Killebrew in the fifth.
McAuliffe got the American League started when he led off the fourth with a single, advanced to second on a one-out walk drawn by Killebrew and scored on a single by Indians right fielder Rocky Colavito.
Maloney retired the first two American League hitters in the fifth before pinch-hitter Jim Hall of the Twins drew a walk. McAuliffe followed with his two-run homer to center. Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson then reached on an infield single before Killebrew homered to left-center to tie the game.
Gibson worked two shutout innings at the end of the game for the National League after Sandy Koufax of the Dodgers and Turk Farrell of Houston had each worked a perfect inning.
Pete Richert of the Washington Senators kept the American League in the game with two scoreless innings after the National League took its quick 5-0 lead. Eddie Fisher of the Chicago White Sox pitched two scoreless innings at the end of the game for the American League.
McAuliffe was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs off his homer for the American League. Mays was 1-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored and his homer for the National League. Stargell was 2-for-3 with a homer, two runs scored and two RBIs and first baseman Ernie Banks of the Cubs was 2-for-4.