Jul 14, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; American League outfielder Mike Trout (27) of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates with American League shortstop Jose Iglesias (1) of the Detroit Tigers after hitting a lead off home run against the National League during the first inning of the 2015 MLB All Star Game at Great American Ball Park.
CINCINNATI — First, you have to be in the right place at the right time.
And standing on the mound in the bottom of the fourth inning at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday night, Detroit Tigers left-handed ace David Price was there.
Then, he said, good things have to happen.
And when the American League scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning in the 86th MLB All-Star Game, they did.
After throwing a scoreless inning with two strikeouts, RBI hits from Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder and Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain made Price the winning pitcher in the Midsummer Classic as the AL beat the National League, 6-3.
“I was just in there at the right time,” Price said. “I’ll take it.”
In a 1-1 game, Price steamrolled through the NL “murderer’s row” of Nationals leftfielder Bryce Harper, Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Giants catcher Buster Posey — striking out the first two swinging — and was the second consecutive Tiger to win the All-Star Game. Last year in Minnesota, right-hander Max Scherzer was the winning pitcher.
“To get three outs and be the guy that gets the decision in a game like this is always neat,” Price said.
He retired the side on a line drive to rightfield off the bat of Posey and threw 11 pitches.
With the exhibition win, the AL representative in the World Series will receive home-field advantage. It’s the third consecutive win for the AL.
Taking the loss was Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, who allowed two runs on three hits.
Every Tiger in uniform made an appearance. Shortstop Jose Iglesias went 0-for-2 and rightfielder J.D. Martinez went 0-for-1.
“It was fun, it was really fun,” Martinez said. “You always get that energy when you go out there, that nervousness feeling. It kind of felt like one of those, this is my first days in the big league moment. It kind of felt like where you’re just nervous and anxious and you want to go out there and do something to help the team.”
In the seventh inning, he grounded out to shortstop on the first pitch from Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez.
In Iglesias’ two at-bats, he struck out swinging against Mets right-hander Jacob DeGrom and grounded out to third base against Pirates reliever Mark Melancon.
“I was excited,” Iglesias said. “It was my first at-bat in my first All-Star Game. It was just another at-bat but this one was different.”
In the bottom half of the eighth inning, Iglesias made one of his patented pristine defensive plays, ranging far in the hole to backhand a hard grounder from Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal.
Throwing across his body, Iglesias outed him with ease.
“I’m used to it,” Price said.
“Oh, whatever. Another play,” Martinez said.
Angels centerfielder Mike Trout led the game of with a home run to rightfield off NL starter Zack Greinke. For the second consecutive year, Trout took home All-Star Game MVP honors, going 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored, including the game-winner on Cain’s double in the fifth inning.
Fielder, a former Tiger, drove in two runs. Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen hit a solo home run in the seventh inning and Twins second baseman Brian Dozier — who beat the Tigers on a three-run, walk-off home run Friday — hit a solo home run in the eighth inning.
“I enjoyed it as much as I can,” Iglesias said. “I had a really good time and I’m blessed to be here. Bottom line we got the ‘W.'”
Price and Scherzer’s consecutive victories mark the first time an AL team has had back-to-back All-Star Game winners since the Yankees in 1947-48.
After two days off, the second half of the baseball season begins Friday, when the Tigers host the Baltimore Orioles to open a seven-game homestand at Comerica Park.
The goal is pretty clear: “Win baseball games,” Price said.
He was in the right spot at the right time Tuesday night. And Friday is the right spot and the right time for the Tigers to accomplish that goal.
Contact Anthony Fenech: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @anthonyfenech.