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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

All-Star Win Ends NL Losing Streak

xPITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania -- Tony Gwynn scored on the most exciting play at the plate in an All-Star game since Pete Rose, barely making it home on Moises Alou's double in the 10th inning, and the National League ended its six-game losing streak with an 8-7 victory.


Fred McGriff's tying two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth off Lee Smith earned him Most Valuable Player honors and sent the game into extra innings, where the NL now has a 9-0 edge.


Gwynn, one of the few players left from the days of NL domination, opened the 10th with a single off Jason Bere. Alou followed with a drive to left-center field and Gwynn, playing the whole game in place of ailing Lenny Dykstra, never broke stride.


While third-base coach Jim Leyland was waving Gwynn home and running with him down the line, strong-armed shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. took left fielder Albert Belle's relay and threw home. But Gwynn, a 10-time All-Star, snuck his foot through the legs of catcher Ivan Rodriguez a split second ahead of the tag. "I just tried to hurry up and get home,'' Gwynn said. "The American League has dominated us for the last six years, and we had an opportunity to win this ballgame. Freddie McGriff got us even. We just wanted to cash it in."


Gwynn, who had doubled in two runs in the third, was mobbed at the plate after ending a game that both teams played hard to win. It was that way in the days of Rose, too, especially when he ran over catcher Ray Fosse to score the winning run in the 12th inning in 1970.


The NL's last win was the last game to go extra innings, a 2-0 victory in the 13th inning in 1987. That night in Oakland, Smith was the winning pitcher.


Doug Jones was the winner this year on a night when eight NL pitchers managed to turn off the American League's power. Bere, who faced only the two batters, was the loser.


The NL leads the series 38-26-1.


Marquis Grissom also homered for the NL, while Ken Griffey Jr. and Kenny Lofton each drove in two runs for the AL.


McGriff connected for the NL's first pinch-hit homer since Lee Mazzilli in 1979. He homered after Grissom drew a leadoff walk from Smith, the major league save leader, and Craig Biggio grounded into a force play.


From the start, both teams were out to win. Roberto Alomar tried to bunt leading off the game. Mike Piazza slammed his bat after popping out. And each club spilled out of the dugout to congratulate runners who scored. Gregg Jefferies pumped his fists after a neat hook slide past Rodriguez in the third.


Lofton, who took over in center field for Griffey in the sixth, put the AL ahead 7-5 in the seventh with a two-run single.


Griffey went 2-for-3 and the 24-year-old Seattle star, already a five-time All-Star, is 7-for-14 in the event.


The NL, outscored 22-9 in the last two games, took a 4-1 lead into the sixth. But Griffey's RBI single keyed a three-run rally that tied it and, after Grissom hit a solo homer in the bottom half, the AL scored three more in the seventh.


NL manager Jim Fregosi used three pitchers in the seventh, to no avail. Rodriguez singled and Mickey Tettleton drew a walk from Houston reliever John Hudek.


Shortstop Ozzie Smith, perhaps playing his last All-Star game at age 39, made a diving stop that prevented a run from scoring. But Scott Cooper hit Danny Jackson's first pitch for a double that tied it at 5, and Lofton slapped a single to left through the drawn-in infield.


Griffey, as usual, was in the middle of things as the AL rallied for the three runs in the sixth to tie it 4-4. But it was a two-out throwing error by third baseman Matt Williams that was the key play.


Alomar met Doug Drabek with a single up the middle, stole second with one out and scored on Griffey's single. Center fielder Grissom got the relay in quickly, and Griffey was caught in a rundown and tagged out when he made a rare mistake and tried to advance to second.


After Thomas singled, Joe Carter hit a two-hop grounder to Williams. The two-time Gold Glover backed up on the ball, letting it play him, and rushed a throw that sailed over second baseman Carlos Garcia's head.


The ball rolled into right field for a three-base error, and Kirby Puckett added an RBI single that made it 4-4.