2016 All-Star Game
The 2016 All-Star Game, the 87th edition of the Mid-summer classic, took place at Petco Park in San Diego, CA, on Tuesday July 12, 2016. The American League defeated the National League, 4-2, with Eric Hosmer winning the Ted Williams Award as the game's MVP. It was the AL's fourth straight victory and ensured that the league's representative would have home field advantage in the 2016 World Series.
The game was held in a National League park for the second straight year, following the 2015 All-Star Game being played at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, OH, only the second time this had happened, after 2006-2007. Moreover, with the 2017 game awarded to Miami, FL and the 2018 Midsummer Classic headed to Washington, DC, there were four straight games scheduled for National League parks. As a result, Commissioner Rob Manfred decided that the American League would be the home team and bat last in this game, even though it was not played in one of its ballparks.
The game was played in the shadow of the late Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, affectionately known as "Mr. Padre", whose untimely death because of cancer two years earlier was remembered by all. Commissioner Rob Manfred took advantage of the pre-game ceremonies to announce that henceforth, the National League batting title would be known as the "Tony Gwynn Award", while its counterpart in the American League would be called the "Rod Carew Award".
For the second straight year, the game's broadcast on FOX attracted a record-low rating of 5.4, representing 8,7 million viewers. This had to be taken in perspective however: it was still the most-watched of the all-star games in the four major sports in the United States, and it represented Fox's highest-rated telecast of the summer season thus far.
When the players for the two leagues were named, two teams stood out in taking a large place, with the Chicago Cubs having their entire infield named to the starting line-up in the National League, and the Boston Red Sox sending six players, including 40-year-old DH David Ortiz, elected as a starter in what he had announced would be his final season. However, when the game was played, a third team emerged as giving its particular color to the game: the World Series-winning 2015 Kansas City Royals, who contributed not only the AL manager, as is traditional, in Ned Yost, but also the NL's starting pitcher in Johnny Cueto and the game's two principal heroes, 1B Eric Hosmer and C Salvador Perez. For his part, Perez had dominated the All-Star voting, gathering more votes than any other player.
In spite of the game being played in a National League park, the senior circuit was considered the visitors and batted first against Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale. He retired the first two batters of the game, but 3B Kris Bryant then tagged him for a home run for a 1-0 league. In the bottom of the inning, CF Mike Trout singled against Cueto, the fifth straight All-Star Game in which the Angels outfielder had collected a hit, but Ortiz hit a sharp liner to first base which was caught by Anthony Rizzo to end the inning. Corey Kluber came in to pitch the 2nd and had a perfect inning, after which the AL went to work. Hosmer tied the score with a home run against Cueto, then after RF Mookie Betts singled, Perez hit another homer to put the junior circuit up, 3-1. Cueto then gave way to Jose Fernandez, but the damage had been done.
The AL added an insurance run in the 3rd when Ortiz walked with two outs and was replaced by pinch-runner Edwin Encarnacion, receiving a rousing ovation from the crowd. SS Xander Bogaerts then doubled and Hosmer followed with a single to make it 4-1 for the AL. The NL cut the lead in the top of the 4th, wth Aaron Sanchez now pitching. C Buster Posey drew a walk, then CF Marcell Ozuna drove him in with a single. This was the score of the game, although there was still some drama left. The American League only managed to place two men on base after the 4th inning, both of them via walk, but the NL threatened a few times. In the 5th, 2B Daniel Murphy led off with an apparent ground out to second base, but NL manager Terry Collins appealed the play and the call was reversed. It was the first recourse to instant replay in All-Star Game history. PH Nolan Arenado then forced him out and reached third base when DH Wil Myers hit a two-out double off Jose Quintana, thrilling the hometown crowd, but both runners were left stranded when C Wilson Ramos struck out swinging.
The NL's best shot came in the 8th inning when, facing New York Yankees reliever Andrew Miller, they loaded the bases after two outs on singles by C Jonathan Lucroy and PH Starling Marte and a walk to LF Adam Duvall. Will Harris replaced Miller to face PH Aledmys Diaz, and he struck out the Cuban rookie on a full count to end the inning. Zack Britton then pitched the 9th inning; he allowed a lead-off single to Murphy, but 1B Paul Goldschmidt forced him out and 3B Arenado hit into a game-ending double play started by 3B Josh Donaldson.
|Ben Zobrist||2B||Chicago Cubs||1||Jose Altuve||2B||Houston Astros|
|Bryce Harper||RF||Washington Nationals||2||Mike Trout||CF||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim|
|Kris Bryant||3B||Chicago Cubs||3||Manny Machado||3B||Baltimore Orioles|
|Wil Myers||DH||San Diego Padres||4||David Ortiz||DH||Boston Red Sox|
|Buster Posey||C||San Francisco Giants||5||Xander Bogaerts||SS||Boston Red Sox|
|Anthony Rizzo||1B||Chicago Cubs||6||Eric Hosmer||1B||Kansas City Royals|
|Marcell Ozuna||CF||Miami Marlins||7||Mookie Betts||RF||Boston Red Sox|
|Carlos Gonzalez||LF||Colorado Rockies||8||Salvador Perez||C||Kansas City Royals|
|Addison Russell||SS||Chicago Cubs||9||Jackie Bradley||LF||Boston Red Sox|
|Johnny Cueto||P||San Francisco Giants||SP||Chris Sale||P||Chicago White Sox|
National: Johnny Cueto (L), Jose Fernandez, Drew Pomeranz, Julio Teheran, Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, Mark Melancon, Fernando Rodney, Kenley Jansen
American: Chris Sale, Corey Kluber (W), Cole Hamels, Aaron Sanchez, Jose Quintana, Kelvin Herrera, Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, Will Harris, Zach Britton (SV)
- Barry M. Bloom: "Padres' Petco Park selected to host '16 All-Star Game: Owners excited to bring event back to 'America's Finest City' for first time since '92", mlb. com, January 15, 2015. 
- A.J. Cassavell: "Kan Diego: RoyALs power All-Star win: MVP Hosmer, Perez homer in 2nd for Junior Circuit's 4th straight victory", mlb.com, July 13, 2016. 
- Anthony Castrovince: "All-Star rosters packed with dynamic talent", mlb.com, July 5, 2016. 
- T.R. Sullivan: "San Diego to host first All-Star Game since 1992: Gwynn one of five Padres in city's last ASG; Petco Park to host for the first time", mlb.com, January 15, 2015. 
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