Highlights and the lowlights ...
By BEN WALKER
AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK — From Manny Machado’s sling to Aroldis Chapman’s zing to a fan’s sting, there was plenty to see at the All-Star game Tuesday night. Well, except for runs.
A look at the American League’s 3-0 win:
HIGHLIGHT: Mariano Rivera got the royal treatment in his final All-Star appearance. AL teammates and NL opponents alike came to the top step of the dugout and emerged from the bullpen when the career saves leaders trotted on to pitch. It was a fitting tribute to the 43-year-old Yankees star, similar to the on-field tribute Cal Ripken received at his last All-Star game. Rivera responded in proper fashion, tossing a perfect inning.
“It was an honor to play behind him in center field,” Detroit’s Torii Hunter said.
LOWLIGHT: The sight of Robinson Cano hobbling off the field in the top of the first. Hit in the right leg by a fastball from Mets ace Matt Harvey, the Yankees second baseman made an early exit with a bruised quadriceps. “Nothing bad. They told me it’s a bruise, and ice the next few days,” Cano said. Still, the sight of an injury in any exhibition game is exactly what every team fears.
GOT YA: Orioles third baseman Manny Machado made the play of the game, fending off Paul Goldschmidt’s hard two-hopper down the line and throwing him out at first. The 21-year-old Baltimore talent could soon set the major league record for doubles in a season, but his rocket arm is drawing raves on a daily basis.
“I wasn’t impressed,” joked Orioles teammate Chris Davis, who had been replaced at first base by Prince Fielder. “I’ve seen that play several times. He didn’t hit the guy in the chest, and I told him that.”
SMACKDOWN: The hardest hit of the night came from someone not wearing a baseball uniform. Instead, it was delivered by a security officer who tackled a fan near second base in the fifth inning. Pursued by a dozen officers, the guy stopped, put his hands in the air to surrender. Not so fast. The security man put on a Pro Bowl performance, hoisting up the fan and slamming him on his back. Predictably, the crowd roared.
DUELING DUETS: “Sweet Caroline” vs. “Enter Sandman.” Neil Diamond came onto the field to sing his hit in the bottom of the eighth, and Fenway Park’s signature tune drew a nice reception. But not like the opening strains of the Metallica song when Rivera emerged from the bullpen moments later.
“We knew Neil Diamond was going to do ‘Sweet Caroline’ and while we were waiting, we said, ‘You don’t want him to take the field yet,’” AL manager Jim Leyland said.
Mets third baseman David Wright was in the NL clubhouse when Rivera came in.
“All of a sudden I heard ‘Enter Sandman’ out there. So I hurried up to throw a sweatshirt on and run out there, because I didn’t want to miss it,” he said.
BAD OMEN: Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina warmed up Matt Harvey in the top of the first inning, then bounced his throw past second baseman Brandon Phillips and into center field. Molina simply got another ball from plate umpire John Hirschbeck and made a more accurate throw down. Two tosses — ever see that?
ZING!: On a humid night, Reds closer Aroldis Chapman brought the heat. He finished his one-inning stint with the swiftest pitch of the game, fanning a swinging Adam Jones with a 101 mph fastball.
“That was fun. First pitch curveball? C’mon,” Jones said. “He’s throws a hundred miles an hour. He threw me two 101 mph and he threw me a first-pitch curveball. Respect.”
Second place on the most overmatched list went to Carlos Gonzalez, who took two wild swings and never came close to touching Chris Sale’s sliders in a one-sided lefty vs. lefty matchup.
A PRINCELY DASH: Prince Fielder will never be confused for an Olympic sprinter. But the burly Detroit slugger did his best Usain Bolt impression, hustling around the bases for a triple after his drive got past right fielder Carlos Gomez. Fielder is more of an athlete than many give him credit for — still, Chris Davis and his AL teammates smiled along with Fielder after he slid into third with his first triple of the year.
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