Jul 16, 2013; Flushing, NY, USA; American League pitcher Mariano Rivera (42) of the New York Yankees walks off the field with catcher Salvador Perez (13) of the Kansas City Royals after retiring the National League in the 8th inning in the 2013 All Star Game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Take in the All-Star Atmosphere

The All-Star Game isn’t quite the same as it used to be. At least not to me. It’s still nice to see some of the best in the game together, lined up down the baseline, and comprising super-lineups, but it’s different now that interleague play is the norm.

But there are still moments and scenes that become memorable.

The Royals sent three players to the game for the first time since 1988 (George Brett, Mark Gubicza, and Kurt Stillwell). In the bottom of the seventh, all three – Alex Gordon, Greg Holland, and Salvador Perez – came into the game.

Holland retired Paul Goldschmidt to start the inning, but got some help from third baseman Manny Machado, who went deep behind the bag and threw across in time to get him out. Holland gave up a hit to left to David Wright and was pulled. He threw six pitches. There’s not much more to say about it than that.

Alex Gordon made a play on a line drive from Allen Craig in the bottom of the eight and got to bat in the top of the ninth. With Prince Fielder on third after a triple (yes, a triple), and  two outs, Gordon drove a ball deep to center. It kept carrying, but died just short of the 408 sign and ended the inning. Incidentally, Gordon’s inclusion in the event earns him an extra million dollars on his contract as a bonus.

The best moments for a Royal came with Salvador Perez involved. In the top of the eighth, he led off with a single to right field, then ended up on third after a single and double play. He scored a run after Jason Kipnis doubled. It was the first hit by a Royal in the All-Star Game since Bo Jackson in 1989. Perez hadn’t even been born yet. The special moment came in the bottom of the inning when the AL, holding a 3-0 lead, went to Mariano Rivera. Just in case the NL came back (making a bottom of the ninth unnecessary), Jim Leyland put the future Hall of Famer in the game in front of a New York crowd to get his last All-Star inning. Walking out to “Enter Sandman”, both the AL defense and the upcoming NL batters stayed in their respective dugouts until Rivera reached the mound (apparently, this was unplanned). Then it was just Rivera and Perez.

He worked a perfect inning and Perez went to his side to congratulate him before going back to the dugout, resulting in a pretty great photo:

And how about from another angle:

 

And one more:

All in all, a fun night, a special moment, and a chance to see three Royals All-Stars on the field at once. And Alex Gordon almost hit a homer.

More photos:

Sal just after seeing his hit get into the outfield.

Jul 16, 2013; Flushing, NY, USA; American League catcher Salvador Perez hits a single against the National League during the eighth inning of the 2013 All Star Game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Perez and Holland during the national anthem.

Jul 16, 2013; Flushing, NY, USA; American League players including Greg Holland (56) , Salvador Perez (13) , Glen Perkins (15) , Torii Hunter (48) and Prince Fielder (28) stand during the national anthem before the 2013 All Star Game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Gordon talking with temporary teammates Mike Trout and Nelson Cruz.

Jul 16, 2013; Flushing, NY, USA; American League outfielder Nelson Cruz (17) of the Texas Rangers talks with outfielder Mike Trout (27) of the Los Angeles Angels and outfielder Alex Gordon (4) of the Kansas City Royals during the 2013 All Star Game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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Tags: 2013 MLB All-Star Game Alex Gordon Greg Holland Kansas City Royals Mariano Rivera Salvador Perez

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