Ichiro Earns All-Star MVPPosted: Updated:
SAN FRANCISCO, Calf. - Another year, another victory for the American League in the All-Star Game.
The junior circuit belted three homers in a 5-to-4 win over the National League at San Francisco, leaving the American League 10-0-and-1 in the last eleven midsummer classics.
Ichiro Suzuki hit the first inside-the-park homer in All-Star game history, driving in Brian Roberts to give the A-L a 2-to-1 lead in the top of the fifth. Carl Crawford made it 3-to-1 with a solo shot in the sixth before Victor Martinez added a two-run blast that gave the A-L a three-run cushion in the eighth.
The National League made things interesting in the ninth, loading the bases after Alfonso Soriano smacked a two-out, two-run homer off J.J. Putz (puts). But Francisco Rodriguez got the final out to close the victory.
Ichiro was named the game's Most Valuable player after going 3-for-3 from the lead-off spot.
Ken Griffey Junior drove in the National League's first two runs with an R-B-I single and a sacrifice fly. Jose Reyes went 3-for-4 and scored the N-L's first run.
Josh Beckett worked two innings to get the win. Chris Young took the loss.
The victory gives the American League pennant winner home field advantage in the World Series.
The National League still leads the overall series 40-36-and-2.