NL triumphs, finally!

American League All-Star David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox is forced out at second base by National...

American League All-Star David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox is forced out at second base by National League All-Star shortstop Rafael Furcal. (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Brian McCann was in Grade 6 in Athens, Ga., when the National League thumped the Americans 6-0 on a July night in Philadelphia.

The NL had been winless in all-star games ever since.

A total of 12 losses and a tie had unfolded before McCann stepped in against lefty Matt Thornton in the seventh with the NL trailing 1-0 in the 81st all-star game.

McCann pulled an 0-1 pitch, a 98-m.p.h. fastball, to right for a bases-clearing double, as the NL went on to a 3-1 win over the AL in front of 45,408 humans and one Rally Monkey.

Ding dong, the streak is dead.

Overall, the NL leads 41-38.

With one out, Scott Rolen singled up the middle against Phil Hughes and Matt Holliday followed with a single to centre. Rolen, 36, ran like it was 1996, reaching third with a head-first slide.†

Thornton took over for Hughes and Marlon Byrd worked in eight-pitch, walk after falling behind 0-2.

McCann fouled off the first pitch and NL manager turned to coach Buddy Black and said: "If he throws him a low one, he'll clock it."

The next pitch was low, and the clock didn't stop ticking until all three runners had scored.†

"We've had to answer the question about AL dominance the last five years ... for me," said the MVP, who had his first hit in five all-star at-bats. "To be able to come through was something I'll never forget. This is something you dream about, to share a locker room with these guys.

"I'd been facing tough lefties like B.J. Ryan."

Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton, unlike Dodgers closer Eric Gagne in 2003, was able to record the save. Barely.

He allowed a leadoff single to David Ortiz, struck out Adrian Beltre, and was fortunate when after John Buck's single Byrd threw to second to retire Ortiz on a forceout.

"Byrd made a heck of a play throwing out Ortiz," Manuel said. "Our pitchers got them out at the right time. I was looking for Alex Rodriguez to pinch-hit in the ninth, I expected to see him."

A-Rod was not used by manager Joe Girardi and Ian Kinsler flew out to end the game. †

Lefty Hong-Chih Kuo gave the AL its run without giving up a hit in the fifth.

After a walk, he fielded Joe Mauer's dribbler, wheeled, and fired it past first base.

Robinson Cano hit a run-scoring fly ball for the game's run.†

Two of the three Blue Jays entered in the sixth inning: Vernon Wells in left and John Buck behind the plate. Jose Bautista pinch-ran for Josh Hamilton and then played right in the seventh.

Buck doubled off the glove on Holliday in left and looked to have singled in the ninth, but Ortiz was forced out.

"David doesn't have Carl Crawford speed, he has David speed," Torii Hunter said.

With runners at first and second and one out, Wells hit the first pitch to short in the seventh and Kinsler was forced at second.

Bautista popped up against Brian Wilson, ending the eighth.† †

Ex-Jay Roy Halladay worked the sixth allowing a leadoff single to Derek Jeter and benefitted from a weird double play. Halladay struck out Paul Kornerko with pinch-runner Elvis Andrus on the move. McCann bobbled the ball and then threw high to second. Andrus easily was safe, but overslid.†

Elvis had left the bag.

In five all-star games Halladay has now worked 62/3 innings, allowing seven runs (6.75 ERA) on 13 hits, striking out four.

"It feels real good to end the dominance," said Manuel, which means the NL, maybe the Phillies, gets the home-field advantage in the World Series.

"Two years ago it was a factor. We didn't want to go back to Tampa Bay. Last year we didn't want to play the final two at Yankee Stadium. They're a better team at home."


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