Blue Jays' All-Stars soak up memories

Toronto's 4 available players all see action in AL's victory

Blue Jays' All-Stars soak up memories

SAN DIEGO -- It was an eventful night for a quartet of Blue Jays, who all entered the American League's 4-2 win over the National League in the 2016 All-Star Game.

Aaron Sanchez pitched the fourth inning in relief and allowed a run on two hits and a walk. Josh Donaldson came in as a defensive replacement at third for Manny Machado and flied out during the seventh inning.

"I was just honored to be here," said Sanchez, a late replacement for Boston's injured closer, Craig Kimbrel. "Any way you can get here, it's fine with me, even if it took to the last minute."

Michael Saunders replaced Carlos Beltran in right field and popped out to the middle of the infield in the eighth inning during his lone at-bat.

Edwin Encarnacion entered as a pinch-runner in the third inning, replacing Red Sox slugger David Ortiz after he walked with one out. Encarnacion came around to score the AL's fourth run on All-Star Game MVP Eric Hosmer's base hit.

But it was the sendoff to Ortiz on Tuesday night, playing his final Midsummer Classic in his final season, that Donaldson said he'd remember most about the game.

Ortiz exits to standing ovation

"It was awesome. I wish I could have seen him hit a homer or something like that, but that's pretty difficult to do," Donaldson said. "He's just one of those guys who's a big personality. And he's one of the faces of baseball.

"My first All-Star Game [two years ago] was with [Derek] Jeter. It was his last one. That was very special for me. Now this is Big Papi's last year, his last All-Star Game. It was amazing to be able to share it with him. Both of them have their own legacy. Jeter was the super professional. Papi has that larger-than-life personality. If this is really it for Papi, baseball will be missing one of its biggest personalities."

Though the appreciation of Big Papi made this night a special celebration, there was some pregame controversy surrounding the singing of the Canadian national anthem, which was performed by the Tenors, who hail from Victoria, British Columbia. One of the members of the group, Remigio Pereira, changed the lyrics of "O Canada," to include a reference to "All Lives Matter" and held up a sign making that reference.

The Tenors sing 'O Canada'

"We're all brothers and sisters, all lives matter to the great," replaced the traditional "with glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North strong and free."

The incident received a lot of criticism on social media, and the group released a statement on Twitter condemning Pereira's actions. As the sole Canadian All-Star on Canada's only MLB team, Saunders addressed the issue postgame.

"I'm a very proud Canadian. The national anthem means a lot to me," said Saunders, who is also from Victoria. "He did what he thought was right. He did what he thought he had to do to promote what he was promoting. And that was his decision.

"I was caught up in the anthem and singing it my head. I must have been caught up in the moment because I didn't even realize that. It's an anthem. It's obviously written. He held up a sign and obviously that meant a lot to him. You've got to appreciate his beliefs and his rights. That was his way, I guess, of doing what he had to do."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.