Cano's extra-inning homer lifts American League past National League at ASG

Cano's extra-inning homer lifts American League past National League at ASG


MIAMI  — A new-look All-Star Game ended with an old-time score.

Robinson Cano homered off Cubs closer Wade Davis leading off the 10th inning and the American League beat the National League 2-1 Tuesday night in an All-Star Game dominated by this era's flame-throwers, rather than its standout sluggers.

Craig Kimbrel wiggled out of a jam in the ninth and right fielder Justin Upton made a lunging catch in the 10th to help the AL win its fifth in a row. And for the first time since 1964, the rivalry is all even — 43 wins apiece with two ties, and each side has scored exactly 361 runs.

Miguel Sano put the AL ahead in the fifth with a bloop RBI single off Alex Wood. Yadier Molina tied it in the sixth with a home run against Ervin Santana.

Molina had just entered behind the plate in the top half and snapped off an All-Star first — Nelson Cruz pulled a phone out of his uniform pants and asked the catcher to snap a photo of him with umpire Joe West.

Davis wasn't with the Cubs last fall when they won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. He was acquired in a trade from Kansas City to fortify the bullpen, and was the only Cubs player in this showcase. Chicago has struggled this season, going into the break at 43-45.

Cano, the game's MVP, sent a hanging curve off the back wall of the right-field bullpen, then blew a bubble with his gum when rounding the bases.

Cano's homer came exactly 50 years after the previous All-Star Game to end 2-1 in extra innings, when Tony Perez hit a tiebreaking 15th-inning homer off Catfish Hunter in the NL's 2-1 win at Anaheim, California. Perez, now a Marlins executive, was among eight Latin-born Hall of Famers who threw out ceremonial first pitches.

POLL: A's Memorable Moments -- Hatteberg's walk-off in 20th straight win vs Henderson's 130 SB in '82


POLL: A's Memorable Moments -- Hatteberg's walk-off in 20th straight win vs Henderson's 130 SB in '82

PROGRAMMING NOTE: NBC Sports California is looking back at the A's 50 Memorable Moments since the franchise relocated to Oakland in 1968. Below are the next two moments you can vote on. Tune into A's Pregame Live today at 6:30 p.m. to watch highlights of the two moments. After the A's and Rangers conclude, tune into A's Postgame Live to see which moment will move on to the next round!

1. Scott Hatteberg's walk-off home run to extend A's winning streak to 20 in 2002 (New winner -- Defeated A's winning 2012 AL West title on final day of the season)

(From Ben Ross)

Every A's fan remembers where they were when Scott Hatteberg hit the biggest home run of his career. With Oakland and Kansas City tied at 11 in the bottom of the ninth, Hatteberg hit a pinch-hit walk-off home run, giving the A's their 20th straight win, a new American League record.

Incredibly, the Athletics had blown an 11-0 lead in the game. The Royals scored five runs in the fourth inning, five more in the eighth, and one in the ninth to tie the game at 11. But Hatteberg came to the rescue, sending the sellout crowd of more than 55,000 into a frenzy.

Hatteberg hit 15 home runs that season, and 106 in his career, but only this one ended up in Hollywood. Hatteberg was portrayed by Chris Pratt in the 2011 film "Moneyball."


2. Rickey Henderson steals 130 bases in 1982

(From former A's infielder/outfielder and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Bip Roberts)

Some guys are different. Rickey was different. Base stealers have no fear on the bases and they bring fear to all defenses. As a middle infielder, when Rickey got on base, it would shorten up my range, I'd have to get closer to second base and therefore, ground balls that wouldn't normally get through would get through for hits. So what Rickey really did was, as a guy who really wanted to emulate what Rickey did,  was he showed us an image of what lead-off hitters and base-stealers could do and how we could take over games and he became one of our favorites and we all tried to emulate that.

When you start thinking about stealing over 100 bases... you start thinking about health because you know that you're going to be taking a pounding. And Rickey didn't slide feet-first, he went head-first which means that he was always suspectable to injury whether it be fingers, wrist, or jamming a shoulder or maybe getting tagged at the top of the head and hurting his neck. So there was always a risk.

But to steal over 130 bases in one season, and in 1982 was really my first year in Pro Ball and I thought if that's the goal, that's the bar, I don't know how anyone's going to reach that bar because no one had stole that many bases before and not only stole that many bases, but really changed the game like Rickey did because now the pitchers paid more attention to us base-stealers. Pitchers started releasing the ball in 1.5 seconds and all of a sudden Rickey totally changed the game and it was a record that we never thought would be broken.


Khris Davis leaves (and receives) lasting impression with special fan

Khris Davis leaves (and receives) lasting impression with special fan

OAKLAND -- Baseball is just a game. It’s easy to lose sight of that when you are battling for playoff position and every game matters. 

For Oakland A’s slugger Khris Davis, he was reminded of this fact during pregame on Monday evening when a special guest dropped by the dugout to meet him. 

Anthony Slocumb, a sixth grader from Claremont Middle School in Oakland, is a big-time fan of Davis. He’s also in remission after battling a rare cancer called Langerhans cell histiocytosis.

Before the game, Slocumb met Davis as part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and asked for an autograph. Davis returned the favor, having the 10-year-old sign the back of his jersey before the A’s took on the Texas Rangers.

With blue ink sprawled across the back of his uniform, Davis stepped to the plate and gave Slocumb an incredible memory to hold onto, blasting a towering shot into the left field bleachers.

“There was a lot of emotion with those kid’s situation,” Davis said following the game. “It’s the worst situation you can be in, probably. I just wanted to put a smile on his face and thought maybe it would mean something if I had him my jersey signed by him.” 

These events play out often in professional sports, but Davis was moved by his experience Monday. The A’s leader in home runs crushed a ball that careened off a luxury box window an estimated 438 feet from home plate.

As he rounded the bases, he did so with a his newly found friend in mind. 

“I thought about him around the bases,” Davis said. “There’s not a better feeling than hitting a home run. And if he got some excitement and joy from watching that ... I hope he saw it.”  

Davis only had a few minutes to spend with Slocumb before the game, but it left him energized. The home run was Davis' 37th of the season, tying for second place in the majors, one behind the Red Sox’ J.D. Martinez. 

When asked whether he considered swapping out for a new jersey before the game, Davis gave a definitive - “no.” 

“I wanted to rock that. I wanted him to know I was thinking about him,” Davis said. 

The A’s are having a season of big moments. Coming away with a 9-0 win over the Rangers is great for the win/loss record, but for one fan, this was a game he’ll never forget.