LEADING OFF: Trout, AL try for 3rd straight All-Star win
A look at what's happening all around the major leagues today:
Angels dynamo Mike Trout steps in against Dodgers ace Zack Greinke to start the All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. The National League leads the all-time series 43-40, with two ties. The American League is trying for its third straight win - the last NL victory came in 2012, when Houston second baseman Jose Altuve was a mid-game substitute. Now playing for the Astros in the AL, Altuve is in the starting lineup.
The loudest and longest cheer on All-Star night could come well before the first pitch. That's when Pete Rose is set to walk onto the diamond as part of a Major League Baseball promotion honoring four greats from each franchise. Still beloved in his hometown, the 74-year-old banned career hits leader says ''just to be able to come out from behind home plate onto the field will be a big honor for me.'' No telling for sure, but the ovation Rose draws in Cincinnati could be thunderous.
The average time of a nine-inning game before the All-Star break was 2 hours, 53 minutes, according to STATS - that's down from 3:02 for the first half of last season. If the current average remains the same in the second half, 2015 would mark the shortest since 2:52 in 2011. The last five All-Star Games, by the way, have averaged 3:01.