Crew represents well as Lucroy doubles down in ASG
With two RBI 2Bs, catcher glad to be part of Jeter's sendoff; Aramis adds two hits
MINNEAPOLIS -- Considering his teammates comprised a third of the National League's starting lineup and a prominent piece of the bullpen, Aramis Ramirez had a hunch Tuesday afternoon that his Brewers would "have a big influence" in the 85th All-Star Game.
In the end, he was exactly right.
For the first time, multiple Brewers collected multiple hits in an All-Star Game, as Jonathan Lucroy delivered a pair of RBI doubles and Ramirez singled, doubled and scored a run in the National League's 5-3 loss to the American League at Target Field. Before Tuesday, Ryan Braun in 2012 owned the only multi-hit All-Star Game for a Brewer.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched in a non-save situation -- a spot that has given him trouble at times this season -- but delivered a scoreless sixth inning, working around a walk and getting help from Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon on a slick, inning-ending play.
Carlos Gomez, meanwhile, was 0-for-2 with a popout behind home plate and a strikeout.
"We've got to get on 'Gomey,'" Ramirez said. "He didn't do anything."
Ramirez was joking, so he added: "I think we represented our team well.
Ramirez saw it coming, since he started at third base and batted sixth for the NL, with Lucroy catching and batting eighth and Gomez playing left field and batting ninth. It was the second time the Brewers had three players in the starting lineup.
"I'm so happy for 'Luc' and Aramis," said Gomez, a former Minnesota Twin who received a rousing cheer during pregame introductions and did make a nice running catch on a ball hit byMike Trout in the third inning with a runner on second. "They had a really good game, and I wish we'd won the game to get 'Luc' the MVP."
Lucroy played a central role from the bottom of the first inning onward. As Yankees captain Derek Jeter stepped up for the first plate appearance of his final All-Star Game, Lucroy rose and moved back from home plate while NL starter Adam Wainwright vacated the pitcher's mound, allowing Jeter to stand alone and receive a long standing ovation. When Lucroy and Wainwright finally took their positions, Jeter turned and offered congratulations to Lucroy, a first-time All-Star.
Jeter looked at a pitch low before driving a fastball out over the plate to right field for a double. Wainwright later suggested that he planned from the start to deliver Jeter "a couple of pipe shots."
Later, Lucroy distanced himself from that notion, as did Wainwright during an in-game interview.
"I think [Wainwright] was trying to get him out," Lucroy said. "We were going to win. I can tell you that right now. I'm back there catching, and I'm calling the game to win. If that ball is located down, it's probably an out."
Lucroy appreciated his part in Jeter's final Midsummer Classic.
"You kind of appreciate what it means to be a guy like that, who has played as long as he has and been successful as long as he has," Lucroy said. "He plays the game the right way and has always been a clean-cut, hard-working, hard-playing guy, and I think everyone appreciates that."
Said Ramirez: "He deserved that and more. The guy's a class, class act, on and off the field. Never heard negative stuff about Jeter, and I don't think we will."
Jeter wound up scoring as part of a three-run AL rally, but the NL answered against Boston's Jon Lester in the second after Ramirez smacked a single. He scored on Chase Utley's double, and Lucroy followed with another double that made it 3-2.
Two innings later, Lucroy hit a Chris Sale pitch for his second RBI double and tied the game at 3. The extra bags were no surprise. Lucroy is on pace for 54 doubles this season, which would set a Brewers record and a Major League record for a catcher.
The AL took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth on a Mike Trout double over third base. Ramirez, who had made a nice barehanded play to rob Salvador Perez of a hit in the second inning, tried to make a backhanded play here, but missed.
The outcome means the AL will own home-field advantage in the World Series.