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Veteran Rivera named MVP of MLB All-Star Game

Agencies | Updated: 2013-07-17 15:32

Veteran Rivera named MVP of MLB All-Star Game

New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera holds a clear bat after being named MVP of the 2013 All-Star Game following Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in New York, July 16, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

New York - Mariano Rivera, appearing in his last All-Star Game, pitched a perfect eighth inning to help the American League beat the National League 3-0 on Tuesday, giving the eventual AL champion home-field advantage in the World Series.

The New York Yankees' indomitable closer tossed a perfect inning and soaked up a pair of standing ovations at Citi Field - home of the crosstown Mets - as he received MVP honors.

Nine other pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout as the AL won its first All-Star game since 2009.

Mets pitcher Matt Harvey and opposing starter Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers were among a record 39 first-time All-Stars in a game that featured four players 21 or younger _ baseball's next generation.

But it was Rivera, at 43 the oldest All-Star since 1991, who was the center of attention in his farewell season.

He came in from the bullpen to Metallica's "Enter Sandman" just like across town at Yankee Stadium, and was left alone on the field for more than a minute to take in a rousing ovation.

"It was a great moment. He is one of the best pitchers that's ever played this game," Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter said.

Players on both sides clapped from the top of the dugout steps, and he tipped his cap to the crowd.

Then he went to work, retiring three straight hitters on 16 pitches before walking off to another ovation.

"It was tough. It was special," an emotional Rivera said. "Seeing the fans sharing and both teams standing out of the dugout, managers, coaches, players _ priceless."

Harvey responded to strong home-stadium support by striking out three batters in two scoreless innings, leaving to a standing ovation.

Harvey was the youngest All-Star starting pitcher since former Mets ace Dwight Gooden a quarter-century ago.

All the buildup might have made him a little too excited at the start. Mike Trout doubled on his opening pitch, and Harvey drilled Yankees slugger Robinson Cano just above the right knee with a fastball on the third.

In obvious pain, Cano initially stayed in the game but eventually limped off and Harvey made an apologetic gesture.

"I didn't mean to, obviously," Harvey said. "I feel terrible. Apologies go out to him."

Cano had a bruised thigh but said he did not expect to miss any games when AL play resumes.

Baltimore's Adam Jones doubled against Cliff Lee to start the fifth inning and scored when J.J. Hardy beat out a potential double play.

Jason Kipnis doubled home a run in the eighth off Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel to pad the lead and complete the scoring.

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