Target Field, a $545 million, limestone-encased jewel that opened in 2010, produced an All-Star cycle just eight batters in, with hitters showing off flashy neon-bright spikes and fielders wearing All-Star caps with special designs for the first time.
With the late sunset — the sky didn't darken until the fifth inning, well after 9 o'clock — there was bright sunshine when Jeter was cheered before his first at-bat. He was introduced by a recording of late Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard's deep monotone. St. Louis pitcher Adam Wainwright left his glove on the mound and backed up toward second, clapping along with the crowd of 41,048.
"I tried to tell him to pick it up — let's go," Jeter said. "But he took a moment and let the fans give me an ovation which I will always remember."
When Jeter finally stepped into the batter's box, he took a ball and lined a 90 mph cutter down the right-field line for a double.
"I was going to give him a couple pipe shots just to — he deserved it," Wainwright said. "I thought he was going to hit something hard to the right side for a single or an out. I probably should have pitched him a little bit better."
After those in-game remarks created a stir on the Internet, Wainwright amended himself: "It was mis-said. I hope people realize I'm not intentionally giving up hits out there."
Trout, who finished second to Cabrera in AL MVP voting in each of the last two seasons, became the youngest All-Star MVP, about 3 1-2 months older than Ken Griffey Jr. was in 1992.
Playing in his third All-Star game, Trout followed Jeter in the first by tripling off the right-field wall. Cabrera's homer — just the fourth in the last six All-Star games — made it 3-0, but the NL tied it on consecutive RBI doubles by Chase Utley and Jonathan Lucroy off Jon Lester in the second and Lucroy's run-scoring double against Chris Sale in the fourth.
Trout put the AL ahead for good with an RBI double in the fifth — a bouncer over third base against Pat Neshek, the St. Louis reliever who grew up in the Minneapolis suburbs and started his career with the Twins. Jose Altuve followed with a sacrifice fly off Tyler Clippard.
Raised in New Jersey, Trout saw a lot of Jeter and said all week he felt honored to play alongside him.
"Growing up I was setting goals to myself that when I get — if I ever get the chance to get — to the big leagues, that's how I want to play," Trout said. "And the way he carries himself on and off the field, how he respects the game — always hustling, it doesn't matter what the score is. If they are down 10 runs, he is always running the ball out. That's how I want to play."
NOTES: The NL holds a 43-40 advantage, with ties in 1961 and 2002. ... Neshek's brother works on the grounds crew at Target Field.
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