Jeter, Cano get hits in All-Star Game
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – No one needs to tell Derek Jeter how important first baseman Mark Teixeira is to the Yankees’ infield. A good example was evident in the first inning of Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium.
It turned out to be a disastrous start for the Tigers’ Justin Verlander, who gave up five runs on four hits and two walks. The big blow was a bases-loaded triple into the right field corner by Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval.
The next hitter, Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, hit a grounder in the hole between shortstop and third base that Jeter gloved and went into his patented leap-and-throw maneuver to first base.
But that was not Teixeira across the way. Instead, it was the Tigers’ Prince Fielder, an amazing slugger but only a passable first baseman. Jeter’s throw came in on a bounce, but it most likely would have been handled by Teixeira. Fielder could not come up with it, so Uggla had an RBI single.
Robinson Cano continued to endure the wrath of Kansas City fans, who booed him during pre-game introductions and when he came to bat in the first inning immediately after Jeter had led off with an infield single. Chants of “Bill-y Butler” rang out during the at-bat. The crowd took delight in Cano’s fouling out to Sandoval behind third base. The reaction to Cano not naming Butler to the American League squad for Monday night’s Home Run Derby is getting old at this point.
The first-inning rally was started by Cano’s old buddy, Melky Cabrera, the former Yankees outfielder who played here last year and got a nice reception even though he was traded to the Giants this past off-season for pitcher Jonathan Sanchez in a deal that has not worked out for Kansas City. While Cabrera is batting .353 in San Francisco, Sanchez is 1-5 with 6.75 ERA. Cabrera kept reminding the Royals of their loss. In the fourth inning, he homered to left off Rangers lefthander Matt Harrison.
Cano finally heard cheers in the bottom of the fourth when he led off with a single to center off flame-throwing Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals. Even Royals fans had to acknowledge that getting a hit off the pitching phenom is worth celebrating.
“I don’t have any hard feelings,” Cano said outside the AL clubhouse after he came out of the game. “It is part of baseball. Billy talked to me and said he understood. It was not his fault. The only thing I didn’t like is the way they treated my family when they went to the restroom. I did not think that was right.”