Ripken's 3-run HR powers AL to 4-2 win in 1991

National League suffers fourth straight loss

Ripken's 3-run HR powers AL to 4-2 win in 1991

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

For the second straight year, the American League essentially won the All-Star Game on one swing of the bat.

In 1990, the decisive blow was Julio Franco's two-run double in a 2-0 win.

On July 9, 1991, at the Skydome in Toronto, the big hit in the American League's 4-2 win was a three-run homer by Baltimore shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. in the third. The win was the fourth straight by the American League.

The National League took a 1-0 lead against starting pitcher Jack Morris of the Minnesota Twins in the first.

Padres center fielder Tony Gwynn opened the game with a single, moved to third on a one-out single by San Francisco first baseman Will Clark and scored on a single by designated hitter Bobby Bonilla of Pittsburgh. Morris avoided further damage by getting Chicago Cubs right fielder Andre Dawson to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Oakland left fielder Rickey Henderson opened the American League's winning rally with a one-out single off Montreal's Dennis Martinez in the third. Boston third baseman Wade Boggs followed with a single and Ripken, who was hitting .348 with 18 homers and 54 RBIs at the All-Star break, hit his three-run blast to center off Martinez.

The National League pulled to within a run in the top of the fourth when Dawson homered off Boston's Roger Clemens.

The American League scored the final run in the seventh. Toronto left fielder Joe Carter opened the inning with a single off John Smiley and moved to second when Milwaukee third baseman Paul Molitor was awarded first on catcher's interference against Houston's Craig Biggio (the only catcher's interference in All-Star game history).

Cincinnati's Rob Dibble replaced Smiley and gave up a sacrifice bunt by White Sox shortstop Ozzie Guillen and a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Harold Baines of the Oakland A's.

Gwynn and Bonilla each had two of the National League's 10 hits. Gwynn and catcher Benito Santiago, who went 0-for-3, were Padres voted into the National League starting lineup by the fans. They were the only two Padres on the National League squad.

Ripken, was 2-for-3 and was voted the game's Most Valuable Player. Center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. of the Mariners also had two hits for the American League.

Jimmy Key of Toronto, the second of seven American League pitchers allowed a hit in a scoreless third and was credited with the win.

Morris, who allowed four hits, and Jack McDowell of the Chicago White Sox were the only American League pitchers who worked two innings.

Starting National League pitcher Tom Glavine of Atlanta allowed a hit and a walk with three strikeouts in two scoreless innings. Martinez worked two innings and suffered the loss.