Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
All it took was one swing of the bat for Atlanta catcher Brian McCann to claim the Most Valuable Player honors at the All-Star Game, ending 13 straight seasons of National League frustration on July 13, 2010 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Ca.
McCann's three-run double erased a 1-0 American League lead in a pitching duel at the 81st All-Star Game, propelling the National League to a 3-1 win.
Disregarding the controversial tie of 2002, the American League appeared on the threshold of a 13th straight win when McCann doubled to right off Chicago White Sox reliever Matt Thornton with the bases loaded and two out in the top of the seventh.
Yankees reliever Phil Hughes had started the seventh for the American League, but departed after giving up back-to-back, one-out singles to center by Cincinnati third baseman Scott Rolen and St. Louis left fielder Matt Holliday.
Thornton entered the game and retired Arizona pinch-hitter Chris Young on a foul pop fly to first before walking Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd to load the bases.
That brought up McCann, who cleared the bases and ended the American League's domination.
There were only 13 hits in the game as pitching dominated. But each team had threats.
Tampa Bay's David Price started for the American League and threw two scoreless innings. Andy Pettitte of the Yankees and Cliff Lee of the Texas Rangers followed with scoreless innings.
The National League countered with starter Ubaldo Jimenez of Colorado, who opened the game with two scoreless innings despite allowing two hits and a walk. Florida's Josh Johnson was perfect for the National League over the next two innings with two strikeouts.
The National League threatened in the top of the fifth against Justin Verlander. Mets third baseman David Wright singled to open the inning, stole second and reached third on a one-out single to right by Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier -- although a strong throw by Texas right fielder Josh Hamilton forced Wright to hold at third.
With the help of Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo, the American League broke through with an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth that looked like it would hold up for the win until McCann's clutch double.
Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria drew a walk from Kuo. Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer topped the ball back toward Kuo, whose wild throw into the dugout allowed Longoria to reach third and Mauer reach second. Longoria scored on a sacrifice fly by Yankees' second baseman Robinson Cano.
The Padres had two representatives in the game -- first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (0-for-2) and right-handed closer Heath Bell, who got the final out in the fifth in relief of Kuo.
Wright was the only player in the game with two hits.
Matt Capps of the Washington Nationals was credited with the win.