NEW YORK – Justin Morneau slid home on Michael Young's sacrifice fly in the 15th inning Tuesday to give the American League a 4-3 victory over the National League on, extending its All-Star unbeaten streak to 12.
In a game that started Tuesday night and faded well into Wednesday, Young ended a 4-hour, 40-minute marathon at 1:37 a.m. local time, with Yankee Stadium half-empty. It was a good thing, too — neither team had any pitchers left in the bullpen.
Slated for extinction, Yankee Stadium got perhaps its final moment in the U.S. spotlight, hosting the All-Star as part of its grand send-off.
The NL was given a pre-game pep talk by Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, whose motto is: "Let's play two!" And they nearly did, matching the longest All-Star game ever.
Morneau started the winning rally with a leadoff single against loser Brad Lidge, and Ian Kinsler hit a low liner to left that Ryan Ludwick caught with a dive. After Dioner Navarro singled, J.D. Drew walked to load the bases.
Young lofted a fly to right and Cory Hart's throw home took two bounces and was slightly to the first-base side of the plate. Catcher Brian McCann gloved the ball and tried a sweep tag, but Young sneaked his right foot in, barely ahead of the tag. Plate umpire Derryl Cousins made the safe call, and the AL players left in the dugout rushed out to celebrate.
The AL improved to 6-0 since the All-Star game began determining homefield advantage in the World Series. And it even ended an old curse — it had been 0-9-1 in extra innings against its older rival.
Young got the winning hit off Trevor Hoffman in the 2006 All-Star game at Pittsburgh, and it gave the win to Tampa Bay's Scott Kazmir, the 12th AL pitcher.
Drew was picked as the Most Valuable Player, with his two-run homer in the seventh making it 2-2. Being from Boston, he was booed by the New York crowd when presented with his trophy.
The only other AL player with an All-Star ending RBI was Red Sox great Ted Williams, who hit a three-run, ninth-inning homer in 1941.