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Atlanta Braves Pitching Helps Secure National League Win in All-Star Game, Prince Fielder’s Home Run The Difference

July 13th, 2011 at 8:50 AM
By Cody Fields

In the only American All-Star contest that actually plays defense, it was the trio of Atlanta Braves pitchers that rode Prince Fielder's coattails to the National League's second straight All-Star Game victory.

Jair Jurrjens, Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters combined for 2 2/3 scoreless innings at Chase Field to help secure home field advantage for the NL in the World Series.

Jurrjens came in first for the NL in the sixth inning. He promptly struck out Jacoby Ellsbury before dispatching the rest of the inning in order. He also came out for the seventh and got the first two outs, but was pulled for Kimbrel after giving up a single to Kevin Youkilis.

Kimbrel, though he only needed one out, made things interesting by walking Paul Konerko before getting Howie Kendrick to ground out.

Venters started the eighth inning for the NL and got Matt Wieters to ground out. He then struck out Ellsbury before being pulled in favor of Heath Bell.

Brian Wilson then recorded the save in the ninth inning for the NL.

Although Adrian Gonzalez hit a homer in the top of the fourth to put the American League on top, Fielder drove his own shot to the deepest part of the ballpark, a three-run home run just left of center field. It was the main difference in the 5-1 game as Fielder won the MVP honors.

Through Braves catcher Brian McCann did not repeat last year's MVP performance by going 0-for-2, it was the first time he started in the game. He also tagged out Jose Bautista at home in the top of the fourth inning after Adrian Beltre singled to left and Hunter Pence threw him a strike for the out.

Before the NL won last year's All-Star Game in Anaheim, it had been through a drought since 1996 without a win. It is also the first back-to-back victories for the NL since 1994-1996.

Tags: All-Star Game, Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Brian McCann, Craig Kimbrel, Jair Jurrjens, Jonny Venters, MLB, Prince Fielder

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