07/15/09 1:00 AM ET
Young misses out on All-Star sequel
Rangers star unable to repeat '06 success vs. Hoffman
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
This time the circumstances were a little different and not quite as dramatic as what happened in 2006 in Pittsburgh.Young faced Hoffman in the sixth inning on Tuesday in a 3-3 ballgame. Josh Hamilton had just lined a single to put a runner on first and one out when Young stepped in against Hoffman, who was working the sixth for the National League. "Three years later, it was nice," Hoffman said. "I know it wasn't quite the same stage or situation, but from a personal standpoint, I won't keep seeing the same fastball going into the gap." Three years ago, Young hit a two-out, two-run triple in the top of the ninth inning off Hoffman to give the American League a 3-2 victory. Young earned Most Valuable Player honors in that game because of that triple. This time Hoffman got the better of him. Hoffman threw a fastball that Young took for a strike. Then Young went after a slider and hit it right at second baseman Chase Utley for an inning-ending double play. "My first two at-bats, I saw two pitches," Young said. "I was determined to take a pitch, and he threw me one I probably could have hit. I tried to go the other way and hit it hard, but right at the second baseman. But I have nothing but the utmost respect for Trevor Hoffman and what he has done in this game." Hoffman was with the Padres in 2006 but is now with the Brewers. This is the first time they have faced each other since that night in Pittsburgh, but Hoffman didn't consider it redemption. "You can't play this game on that sort of thing," Hoffman said. "Michael's a great guy, and you have to respect people that play the game right way and have to move on." Young still had a good night. He went 1-for-3 with a single and played seven innings at third base in his first All-Star start. He was also on the winning side again as the American League won, 4-3. The American League has won seven straight All-Star Games and Young has been on the team for the last six. He has never played in the postseason, but he has never experienced losing an All-Star Game. "It was a big win," Young said. "It was a lot of fun. This team really gets into it. We're on the top step watching the game and really into it. It was a fun game." Hamilton was also 1-for-3 with an RBI while starting for the second straight year. He is only the third Rangers player to start multiple All-Star Games. Ivan Rodriguez started nine and Alex Rodriguez started three while with the club. Hamilton drove in the AL's second run in the top of the first inning when he came to bat with one out and the bases loaded against Giants starter Tim Lincecum. Swinging at the first pitch, Hamilton hit a sharp grounder to first baseman Albert Pujols, who went to second for the force. The NL got the out there, but Hamilton was too fast for any play at first and the AL had a 2-0 lead. Hamilton flied out to center in the fourth and singled in the sixth. Curtis Granderson took over in center field in the bottom of the inning. "It was a good night," Hamilton said. "It was a little more relaxing than last year. I was able to take it in a little more. But you still can't get on a schedule or in a routine. You're still flying by the seat of your pants. But I was glad we got a win." Outfielder Nelson Cruz did not get into the game, but the Dominican Republic native was still basking in the limelight of his second-place finish in the Home Run Derby on Monday. "Everybody was happy in the Dominican," Cruz said. "The media called me the first thing in the morning. The whole country was paying attention to what was going on. They were all proud and happy with the way that I performed."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.