3 NL HRs sink AL in 1995 All-Star Game

Junior Circuit had no-hitter for 5 2/3 innings

3 NL HRs sink AL in 1995 All-Star Game

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

The National League managed only three hits in the 66th All-Star Game on July 11, 1995, at Arlington, Texas.

And that was all it needed to win, 3-2.

Because all three hits were solo home runs -- by Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Jeff Conine -- in three consecutive innings to wipe out a 2-0 American League lead and give the NL a second straight win and a 39th overall.

Until the homers, the story of the game was the AL pitchers, who opened the game with five hitless innings -- the deepest a no-hitter had been carried into an All-Star Game.

Randy Johnson of the Seattle Mariners opened the game and issued a walk with three strikeouts in two hitless innings. Kevin Appier of the Kansas City Royals struck out one in his two hitless innings. And Cleveland's Dennis Martinez extended the no-hitter through the fifth.

Meanwhile, the AL took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth against John Smiley of the Cincinnati Reds. Cleveland second baseman Carlos Baerga singled with one out and scored on a two-run, two-out homer by Chicago White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas, who had won the Home Run Derby on the eve of the All-Star Game.

Houston second baseman Biggio ended both the no-hitter and the shutout with his solo homer in the sixth.

An inning later, Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza tied the game with his solo homer off Kenny Rogers of the host Texas Rangers.

And pinch-hitter Conine of the Florida Marlins broke the tie with his game-winning homer off Steve Ontiveros of the Oakland A's in the eighth. The decisive blast earned Conine the game's Most Valuable Player Award, although it could have gone to a number of pitchers.

Hideo Nomo of the Los Angeles Dodgers made history when he started for the NL to become the first Japanese player to appear in an All-Star Game. With millions of Japanese fans watching on television in Japan, Nomo allowed one hit with three strikeouts in two scoreless innings.

The 1995 All-Star Game marked the only time that all of a team's hits were home runs.

Tony Gwynn was voted into the starting lineup as the Padres' lone representative and went 0-for-2.

Heathcliff Slocumb of the Chicago Cubs was the winning pitcher as six NL relievers held the AL scoreless on five hits and two walks over the final five innings. AL hitters were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Baerga had three of the AL's eight hits, going a perfect 3-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Baltimore shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. was 2-for-3. Ontiveros suffered the loss.