Glaus sets the stage

BOB ELLIOTT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

PITTSBURGH -- Off the bat, B.J. Ryan figured his teammate had won the game.

"No way. We played in here last year ... that's a long way out there," said Troy Glaus, who was with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2005.

Glaus stroked a Trevor Hoffman pitch down the left-field line for a ground-rule double, forcing pinch runner Jose Lopez of the Twins to hold up at third.

Then, with two out and facing an 0-2 count, Michael Young hit an outside pitch to right-centre for a two-run triple.

The National League, an out away, a strike away, can't win for losing as the American League rallied for a pair of two-out ninth-inning runs to win 3-2 in an exciting 77th all-star game.

The AL is now 9-0-1 in the previous 10 all-star games.

You could say Glaus showed a lot of effort. Ditto for Ryan, who worked a scoreless eighth to wind up the winning pitcher.

"In the ninth it was fun to be on that bench, surrounded by the best players in the world and to have a comeback like that," Ryan said. "I wanted to do what the manager asked -- get three quick outs -- and see what we could do. I really thought Troy hit it out."

Hoffman, who started the ninth with two harmless comebackers, quickly went ahead of Young, who fouled off two balls down the right-field line.

"I was hoping the ball would rattle around the corner rather than bouncing over," Glaus said. "Michael Young doesn't win batting titles and get 200 hits by accident. I knew we were still in good shape. Even with two strikes."

Glaus' clutch double got teammate Roy Halladay off the hook as the losing pitcher.

Until Glaus stroked the ball into the corner, it appeared as if the NL would remain undefeated and untied.

Yankee closer Mariano Rivera pitched a 1-2-3-4 ninth with Carlos Beltran of the Mets reaching on an error. It was Rivera's third all-star save, tying him for Dennis Eckersley as the career leader.

Young was named the game's MVP, while the Troy of all trade, Glaus finished the game at first base.

The largest ovation during pre-game introductions went to hometown hero Jason Bay of Trail, B.C.

"You don't know what it's going to be like until you get out there," Bay said. "I had a little smirk on my face because I couldn't believe this was happening."

NL manager Phil Garner used seven pitchers after Brad Penny pitched two scoreless innings.

The game featured excellent pitching and solid fielding -- Bay made a shoe string grab of a sinking Ichiro Suzuki liner and shortstop Freddy Sanchez climbed the ladder to spear a Mark Loretto liner.

"The catch calmed my nerves," said Bay, who singled in the fourth. "I was on Cloud 9 after my base hit."

David Wright of the Mets tied the game with a solo blast to left with one out in the bottom of the second. Wright became the 13th player to homer in his first all-star at-bat and the first since Hank Blalock of the Rangers in 2000.

Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels put the AL up 1-0 hitting a 1-1 pitch off Penny for a majestic drive that landed in right field.


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