Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun had been voted to start in four straight All-Star Games — playing in three of them — but it took a fifth straight nomination for Braun to tally his first hit.
With a 0-for-7 history and three strikeouts in past All-Star Games, Braun came to the plate in the top of the first inning on Tuesday against Detroit ace Justin Verlander looking to finally register on an All-Star box score.
And on a 2-1 count, Braun slammed Verlander’s pitch to right field, where it almost carried out of the park before settling over Jose Bautista’s head, falling just short of the wall.
The hit carried Braun to second base, while Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera scored on the RBI double. The RBI was the first of the game for either side, as the National League took a 1-0 lead in a game it won, 8-0.
Braun’s second at-bat almost doubled his All-Star hit total, and only a sliding grab from Bautista in right field that kept Braun off the basepaths. But a second hit wasn’t far off.
After Cabrera’s home run cleared the bases in the fourth inning, Braun came to the plate and knocked an extra-base hit down the left field line. The Brewers outfielder and only representative of Milwaukee in the game wound up with a triple, putting him in the conversation for the All-Star MVP award. He finished the night 2-of-3 with a double, triple, and RBI.
Braun even got a chance to flash his glove a bit in left field, especially in the bottom of the fourth inning, as his former teammate — Detroit’s Prince Fielder — hit what looked to be a double into left field. But Braun reached and snagged the hit to end the fourth inning.