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Jacob deGrom strikes out side in All-Star debut, but AL tops NL

National League All-Star Jacob deGrom of the New

National League All-Star Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets throws a pitch in the sixth inning against the American League during the 86th MLB All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park on July 14, 2015 in Cincinnati. Credit: Getty Images / Elsa

CINCINNATI - Beforehand, Jacob deGrom predicted he'd experience "some nerves."

Once the Mets righthander took the mound in the 86th All-Star Game?

"The nerves went away," he said, "and it was an awesome experience."

And a historic one.

The 27-year-old came out firing with a fastball in the high 90s for the National League in the sixth and ended up striking out the side on 10 pitches -- nine of them strikes -- to become the first pitcher in the event's history to record three strikeouts in an inning with no more than 10 pitches.

"It was good morning, good afternoon, ball outside, good night," said Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, deGrom's second victim. "He's a power pitcher, a strong pitcher and a damn good one."

Pointing out that the other batters, A's catcher Stephen Vogt and Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias, went down on three pitches each, Kipnis joked: "I did have four pitches. Please note that."

But the dominant performance did come in a losing cause as the American League, behind home runs by Mike Trout and Brian Dozier, and two RBIs from Prince Fielder, beat the NL, 6-3, in front of 43,656 at Great American Ballpark.

The victory means home-field advantage in the World Series for the AL team, something that had the three players from the AL-East-leading Yankees -- Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances and Mark Teixeira -- excited.

"We obviously have a lot of baseball left to play but hopefully we can continue to play well, make the playoffs and benefit from that home-field advantage," said Gardner, who went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts.

Trout won MVP honors for the second year in a row, the only player to repeat in the 54 years the award has been given. His leadoff homer off the Dodgers' Zack Greinke gave the AL a 1-0 lead.

"It's just an incredible honor to be part of the All-Star Game and win the MVP twice," Trout said. "It's something special for sure."

Gardner struck out in his All-Star debut with two outs in the fifth against Dodgers lefthander Clayton Kershaw, an inning in which the AL took a 3-1 lead on an RBI single by the Rangers' Fielder and an RBI double by the Royals' Lorenzo Cain.

Gardner struck out looking in the eighth against the Pirates' Mark Melancon.

Teixeira, in his third All-Star contest, moved Manny Machado to third with a grounder with one out in the seventh, setting up Fielder's sacrifice fly that made it 5-2.

Betances, who made last year's AL squad but did not appear in the game, made his All-Star debut in the seventh. He walked the Cubs' Kris Bryant with one out but struck out the Giants' Joe Panik on a curveball and ended the inning by getting A.J. Pollock of the Diamondbacks to ground out to third.

"I was a little nervous warming up but once I got out there I felt good," Betances said. "This year was definitely awesome getting in there."

Teixeira, meanwhile, could only smile about how his night ended. The Reds' seed-throwing lefty Aroldis Chapman came on in the ninth and struck out the side on 14 pitches, 12 of which traveled 100 mph or more. That included the 103-mph fastball that struck out Teixeira.

"That was fun," Teixeira said. "[103]? I'm not sure if I've ever faced [103]. I did my best, fouled off a couple pitches, but that was a fun at-bat. A fun at-bat because we were winning the game. If we were losing the game it wouldn't have been a fun at-bat."


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