Led by Derek Jeter's two-hit performance in his final All-Star Game, the American League downed the National League, 5-3, on Tuesday to win the 2014 Midsummer Classic at Target Field in Minneapolis. Jeter doubled and singled before being removed from the game in the fourth inning, but lost out on All-Star MVP honors to Mike Trout, who won the award for the first time in his third career All-Star game.
Jeter's leadoff double in the bottom of the first keyed a three-run frame for the AL. Jeter took an Adam Wainwright fastball — one that Wainwright admittedly grooved (before recanting that statement) — and dumped it into the right field corner for a two-base hit, then came around to score on Trout's triple off the wall in right. Wainwright got Robinson Cano to strike out swinging on a curveball in the dirt, only to watch Miguel Cabrera launch an inside fastball 367 feet into the left field stands for a 3-0 lead.
The NL was set down scoreless in its half of the first inning by AL starter Felix Hernandez, but struck back in the second inning against Jon Lester, picking up two runs. After Aramis Ramirez singled for the Senior Circuit's first hit, Chase Utley ripped a double high off the wall in right to drive in Ramirez. That was followed by a double off the bat of Jonathan Lucroy, but Lester recovered to get Carlos Gomez to pop out and Andrew McCutchen to fly out to strand the Brewers' catcher at second.
Lucroy struck again in the fourth inning to tie the game, bashing another RBI double, this one off of Chris Sale, to score pinch-runner Dee Gordon from first base. But the AL took back the lead for good in the fifth, with Trout driving in another run with a double just over the third base bag off Pat Neshek. Jose Altuve gave the AL an insurance run with a sacrifice fly off Tyler Clippard, who replaced Neshek.
From there, the AL bullpen shut out the NL lineup. Scott Kazmir gave up a double to Ramirez with one out in the sixth, but got Gordon to ground out on a nice play by Altuve at second base. With Ramirez at third and two out, AL manager John Farrell brought out his first closer of the night, Koji Uehara, who struck out Devin Mesoraco swinging. Fellow closer Greg Holland retired the side in order in the seventh, only the second clean inning of the game for the AL.
The NL threatened one last time in the eighth, when Freddie Freeman and Todd Frazier drew walks to put two on with two out. But Fernando Rodney, called in to relieve Sean Doolittle, struck out Daniel Murphy swinging to preserve the lead. Glen Perkins, brought in to get the save, struck out one in a perfect inning to clinch the win for the AL.
The AL may have won and Trout may have walked away with the MVP prize and a new Chevrolet Corvette, but the night belonged to Jeter, who received several standing ovations throughout the night and had the third multi-hit All-Star Game of his career. In his 14th All-Star Game and ninth start, Jeter picked up his 12th and 13th Midsummer Classic hits, raising his career average in the game to .481. Jeter came out for the top of the fourth, only to be replaced by Alexei Ramirez, giving the Target Field crowd one last chance to salute the Yankees' captain.
The win is the AL's second in a row and gives the league home-field advantage in the World Series. Max Scherzer, who pitched a scoreless top of the fifth, picked up the win, while Neshek took the loss. Twins closer Perkins, pitching in front of his hometown crowd and to his regular catcher, Kurt Suzuki, got the save. Trout finished 2-3 with a double, a triple, two RBI and a run scored.