Jeff Roberson, Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS — Derek Jeter soaked in the adulation from fans and players during one more night on baseball's national stage, set the tone for the American League with a pregame speech and then delivered two final All-Star hits.
Mike Trout, perhaps the top candidate to succeed the 40-year-old Yankees captain as the face of the game, seemed ready to assume the role with a tiebreaking triple and later a go-ahead double that earned the 22-year-old MVP honors.
On a summer evening filled with reminders of generational change, the AL kept up nearly two decades of dominance by beating the National League 5-3 Tuesday for its 13th win in 17 years.
"I think let Mike be Mike. I don't think people have to necessarily appoint someone to a particular position," Jeter said. "He's got a bright future ahead of him. I don't know how much better he can get, but if he consistently does what he's doing, then he will be here for a long time."
Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer to help give the AL champion home-field advantage for the World Series.
No matter what else happened, from the start it seemed destined to be another special event for Jeter.
He made a diving stop on Andrew McCutchen's grounder to shortstop leading off the game and nearly threw him out at first, then received a 63-second standing ovation when he walked to the plate before his opposite-field double to right leading off the bottom half. He was given another rousing cheer before his single to right starting the third and 2 1-2 minutes more applause after AL manager John Farrell sent Alexei Ramirez to shortstop to replace him at the start of the fourth.
As Frank Sinatra's recording of "New York, New York" boomed over the Target Field speakers and his parents watched from the stands, Jeter repeatedly waved to the crowd, exchanged handshakes and hugs with just about every person in the AL dugout and then came back onto the field for a curtain call.
"It was a special moment and it was unscripted," Jeter said. "I was unaware of it."
NL manager Mike Matheny of the Cardinals didn't want it to stop.
"The guys on our side have the utmost respect for him and would like to have been standing out there for a little while longer," he said. "I think Derek was the one that was uncomfortable with it."
While not as flashy as Mariano Rivera's All-Star farewell at Citi Field last year, when all the other players left the great reliever alone on the field for an eighth-inning solo bow, Jeter tried not to make a fuss and to deflect the attention.
Even during his clubhouse speech.
"He just wanted to thank us," Trout said. "You know, we should be thanking him."
A 14-time All-Star who was MVP of the 2000 game in Atlanta, Jeter announced in February this will be his final season. His hits left him with a .481 All-Star average (13 for 27), just behind Charlie Gehringer's .500 record (10 for 20) for players with 20 or more at-bats.
While the Yankees are .500 at the break and in danger of missing the postseason in consecutive years for the first time in two decades, Jeter and the Angels' Trout gave a boost to whichever AL team reaches the World Series.
The AL improved to 9-3 since the All-Star game started deciding which league gets Series home-field advantage; 23 of the last 28 titles were won by teams scheduled to host four of a possible seven games.
Detroit's Max Scherzer, in line to be the most-prized free agent pitcher after the season, pitched a scoreless fifth for the win, and Glen Perkins got the save in his home ballpark.
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