Braun Powers NL to Victory in MLB All-Star Game
Left fielder picks up two hits in 83rd All-Star game in Kansas City
The Hebrew Hammer was at it again on Tuesday evening, as Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun powered the National League to a big win over the American League at the 2012 MLB All-Star game at Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals.
Braun started the game batting third and immediately picked up an RBI double in his first at-bat.
His hit kick-started the first of five runs the NL scored off of AL starting pitcher Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers. The NL ended up beating the AL by a lopsided score of 8-0 in Kansas City.
Braun also hit a fourth inning triple, one of a record three the NL got in the inning, in which it also scored three runs.
Braun finished the game batting two-for-three. He was denied a third hit in the second inning when Toronto Blue Jays star José Bautista made a highlight-reel, diving catch in right field.
The 2011 NL MVP also made a couple flashy defensive plays of his own, tracking down a drive at the wall by Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers in the first inning and later a liner by Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder to end the fourth.
“I don't think I've ever really been nervous when I've stepped on a baseball field other than that,” Braun told the Associated Press. “More so than the postseason, more so than when I first got to the major leagues
Despite the performance, Braun was beat out by San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, a former Royal, who took home All-Star game MVP honours. Cabrera finished the game with two hits and two RBIs, including a fourth inning home run.
“It's big for all of us,” Braun, who was hitless on seven at-bats in his three previous All-Star starts, told MLB.com. “We take a lot of pride in winning this game, our third consecutive win. We believe we have a lot of young talent on this side, and you recognize the meaning and significance of this game. We're absolutely excited we won.”
Braun currently leads the NL with 24 home runs in addition to his 61 RBIs. His Brewers sit fourth in the NL Central division with a record of 40-45 and are eight games back of the division-leading Pittsburgh Pirates.
After winning the NL MVP award last year, news leaked that Braun had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs and was dealt a 50-game suspension. The slugger vehemently denied the allegations and eventually won his appeal, becoming the first major leaguer to have a drug suspension overturned.