POSTED: 06:56 p.m. HST, Jul 10, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Mo. >> Melky Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval sent the National League to a big early lead. Matt Cain and the rest of an imposing pitching staff finished off a Giant blowout in the All-Star game.
Flashing their bright orange spikes and booming bats, the San Francisco sluggers keyed a five-run blitz against Justin Verlander in the first inning that powered the NL to an 8-0 romp over the American League tonight.
Cabrera homered and won the MVP award in the ballpark where he played last season, and Cain got the win in the NL’s most-lopsided All-Star victory.
Chipper Jones singled in his final All-Star at-bat at age 40 as the NL, under retired manager Tony La Russa, once again claimed home-field advantage in the World Series.
La Russa asked Jones to address the team before the game and the Atlanta third baseman told players: “Whether you’re 19 or 40, we are all equals here.”
“I am not going out losing my last one. So, you with me?” he added.
Said La Russa: “I thought Chipper set the tone.”
Jones received one of the loudest ovations during the pregame introductions and many players said in recent days they were honored to be All-Stars alongside him.
“I was glad Tony asked me to say something,” Jones said. “I just wanted the guys to know that nothing is a given. You don’t know when your last one is going to be. Don’t miss this opportunity.”
The NL didn’t miss much early.
Ryan Braun, an All-Star again after his drug suspension was overturned last winter, doubled, tripled and made a fine catch in the outfield to help give the NL its first three-game winning streak in two decades.
Teen sensation Bryce Harper had a shaky All-Star debut with a walk, strikeout and missed catch. Fellow rookie Mike Trout, only 20, showed off his dynamic skills.