MIAMI — A new-look All-Star Game ended with an old-time score.
Robinson Cano homered off Cubs closer Wade Davis leading off the 10th inning and the American League beat the National League 2-1 Tuesday night in an All-Star Game dominated by this era’s flame-throwers, rather than its standout sluggers.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina provided all the scoring for the NL when he tied the game with a home run against Ervin Santana in the sixth inning.
Molina had just entered behind the plate in the top half and snapped off an All-Star first — Nelson Cruz pulled a phone out of his uniform pants and asked the catcher to snap a photo of him with umpire Joe West.
Molina, who walked in his other plate appearance, took the request in stride.
“It was weird, huh? It was funny, too,” he said. “I said: ‘Are you serious?’ He was. So I did it.”
Cruz had planned a similar stunt for the 2013 game but said he couldn’t do it.
“This time, if I had to take a picture with someone it was Joe West. He’s the legend,” Cruz explained. “He said, ‘Come on, get out of here, what are you doing?’ Then he said, ‘Yeah, yeah. Let’s do it.'”
West couldn’t believe what was happening.
“I’ve never seen that before — ever,” he told The Associated Press. “That’s the first time I ever think I’ve been speechless on a field.”
Pitcher Carlos Martinez also represented the Cardinals well. He struck out four AL batters over two scoreless innings — the only NL pitcher to go more than one inning. He allowed one hit and one walk.
Craig Kimbrel wiggled out of a jam in the ninth and right fielder Justin Upton made a lunging catch in the 10th to help the AL win its fifth in a row. And for the first time since 1964, the rivalry is all even — 43 wins apiece with two ties, and each side has scored exactly 361 runs.
Miguel Sano put the AL ahead in the fifth with a bloop RBI single off Alex Wood.
Cano, the game’s MVP, sent a hanging curve off the back wall of the right-field bullpen, then blew a bubble with his gum when rounding the bases.
Cano’s homer came exactly 50 years after the previous All-Star Game to end 2-1 in extra innings, when Tony Perez hit a tiebreaking 15th-inning homer off Catfish Hunter in the NL’s 2-1 win at Anaheim, California. Perez, now a Marlins executive, was among eight Latin-born Hall of Famers who threw out ceremonial first pitches.
Davis, the losing pitcher for the NL, wasn’t with the Cubs last fall when they won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. He was acquired in a trade from Kansas City to fortify the bullpen, and was the only Cubs player in this showcase. Chicago has struggled this season, going into the break at 43-45.