The 2010 All-Star Game began as an early pitcher’s duel at Angels Stadium on Tuesday night. No runs were scored, and seven pitchers performed without allowing a run, in the game’s first four-and-a-half innings.

No one crossed home plate until the bottom of the fifth, when the American League struck first. They scored an unearned run off of pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo’s throwing error. The AL got on the board without getting a hit in the inning.

Until the seventh, the AL All-Stars were shutting out their opponents, and it looked as if they would once again come away with a victory. But Brian McCann changed the NL’s disastrous recent past in All-Star games with one swing of the bat.

McCann came into the batter’s box with the bases loaded and ripped a bases-clearing double to right. Three runs scored on the play, also the final three of the game, which would be enough for the NL pitching, who did not allow an earned run all night, to close the game.

McCann was named the game’s MVP. Matt Capps, who struck out the only batter he faced to end the sixth inning, was the winning pitcher. Though he did not allow the game-winning double, which was allowed by Matt Thornton, Phil Hughes was tagged with the loss.

He allowed the first two runners that would score to reach base, while only recording one out.

The National League had not won an All-Star game since 1996, and the only instance in which they had not lost since then came in 2002, when the game ended in a tie.

Since 2003, the winner of the All-Star game has been awarded home-field advantage in the World Series. October 2010 will mark the first time since then that a National League team will host the Series.

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