Fielder blast gave NL second straight win in 2011
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
Ten National League pitchers held American League hitters to six hits and Milwaukee first baseman Prince Fielder hit a three-run homer at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz., on July 12, 2011, as the senior circuit won the 82nd All-Star Game by a 5-1 score.
The win was the second straight for the National League after going the previous 13 years without a win.
The American League had scored in the top of the fifth to take a 1-0 lead on a solo, two-out homer by Boston first baseman Adrian Gonzalez off Philadelphia's Cliff Lee.
And they threatened after the Gonzalez homer to break the game open. Outfielders Jose Bautista of Toronto and Josh Hamilton of Texas followed with back-to-back singles to put runners at first and second.
Tyler Clippard of the Washington Nationals replaced Lee and gave up a single to left by Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre. But Giants left fielder threw a strike to Atlanta catcher Brian McCann to cut down Bautista trying to score.
The National League then mounted its game-winning rally in the bottom of the fifth against C.J. Wilson of the Rangers.
Outfielders Carlos Beltran of the Mets and Matt Kemp opened the inning with singles. Fielder then homered. With one swing, the National League had gone from a 1-0 deficit to a 3-1 lead.
The National League upped the lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth.
Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki singled off Jordan Walden of the Angels to open the inning. Starlin Castro of the Cubs ran for Tulowitzki and stole second and third only to be out at home on a topper back to the mound by Milwaukee second baseman Rickie Weeks.
The Dodgers Andre Ethier pinch-hit for Beltran. With Ethier up, Weeks stole second . . . then scored on Ethier's single to right.
The National League's final run came in the seventh off Brandon League of the Mariners. Pence singled to open the inning, reached second on a passed ball and scored on a ground-rule double by Giants' teammate Pablo Sandoval.
Fielder was named the game's Most Valuable Play in addition to setting a couple of firsts. He was the first Milwaukee Brewer to ever homer in an All-Star Game. And Prince was hitting cleanup for the National League team - following his father Cecil as the first father-son tandem to hit cleanup in All-Star Games.
All nine pitchers used by the American League were appearing in their first All-Star Game. Six pitchers named to the original American League team were unavailable due to injuries and scheduled starter Josh Beckett of the Red Sox withdrew after hurting his knee while warming up.
Jered Weaver started for the American League and Roy Halladay of the Phillies started for the National League and worked two perfect innings with a strikeout.
The National League had nine hits in the game while the American League had six . . . and only two after the top of the fifth. No player had two hits.
Heath Bell was the Padres lone representative and retired the only hitter he faced.