The Cincinnati Reds brought their style of play to Anaheim, and the results paid off as the National League defeated the American League 3-1 in the 81st annual All-Star Game.

A pitcher’s duel for most of the night, Scott Rolen started a seventh-inning rally with a single off Phil Hughes. He then went first to third on a Matt Holliday single, hustling the entire way and sliding to safety.

All-Star teammate Brandon Phillips was miked up for the game and could be heard chanting:

“Yeah yeah. That’s what we do in Cincinnati. We go first to third.”

Ah yes, they do. They currently lead the majors in that category. The play didn’t win the game for the NL, but it altered the way Matt Thornton pitched to Marlon Byrd—who eventually earned a walk.

It also set a tone for the rest of the NL squad. The game does matter and Rolen is going all-out to win it.

One batter later with the bases loaded, Atlanta’s Brian McCann delivered big with a bases-clearing double. It marked the first time in All-Star Game history that a player knocked in three with the bases loaded (hard to believe isn’t it?). McCann was named MVP of the game.

Matt Capps of the Washington Nationals earned the win to become the first pitcher from a team based in Washington to win an All-Star Game since Dutch Leonard (1943 Senators).

While Phillips didn’t collect a hit, he made a dandy of a play in the field, tagging out Texas’ Elvis Andrus, who was trying to swipe second and slid past the bag.

Joey Votto was also hitless after earning over 14 million votes to be the last player selected to the team. But it was a great experience for the always level-headed Votto:

“I’m starting to learn you have to take a moment to say, ‘I’ve done pretty good. I’m an All-Star.’ I’ve given myself the next few days to pat myself on the back. I’ve never done that before, but I’m learning to. Not in an arrogant way. In the past, I’ve never said, ‘You know, that was pretty good.'”

From the seventh inning on, the NL infield was colored Red as 1B Votto, 2B Phillips, and 3B Rolen all finished the victory.

Unfortunately, the ageless Arthur Rhodes didn’t make an appearance. While I’m sure he needed the well-deserved rest, it would have been nice to see the 40-year-old at least pitch to one batter. 

All in all, it was a great experience for the Reds’ All-Stars. Phillips was all grins the entire game and looked to have really soaked up the entire experience.

Votto was able to realize he is an elite player and Rolen showed the world how the Cincinnati Reds are playing baseball in 2010.

The American League lost the All-Star Game for the first time since 1996, and now the National League will own home-field advantage in the World Series.

Nobody is crazy enough to say Game 7 will be at Great American Ballpark, but it sure is convenient to have home-field advantage for the first time in years—when the Reds are in first place for the first time in years.

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