Young (Trout) and old (Jeter) lead AL to All-Star Game win over NL
JUL 15, 2014 11:55p ET
MINNEAPOLIS -- On a summer evening filled with reminders of generational change, the American League maintained nearly two decades of dominance by beating the National League 5-3 in the All-Star game Tuesday for its 13th win in 17 years.
Derek Jeter soaked up the adulation from fans and players during one more night on baseball's national stage, setting the tone for the AL with a pregame speech and delivering 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 him Most Valuable Player honors.
"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 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.
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.
For more 2014 MLB All-Star Game coverage head to www.FOXSportsNorth.com/AllStarGame