Rivera goes out on top in his final All-Star GameNEW YORK - Mariano Rivera reported for work an inning early, and walked off to a fitting tribute.
Summoned in the eighth to make sure he would pitch in his final All-Star game, the New York Yankees’ indomitable closer tossed a perfect inning and soaked up a pair of standing ovations while helping the American League to a 3-0 victory over the National League on Tuesday night at Citi Field.
Rivera, who took home MVP honors, and nine other pitchers combined on a three-hitter for the AL, which snapped a three-game losing streak and regained home-field advantage in the World Series. Joe Nathan saved it in Rivera’s place after the American League scratched out a pair of runs and got an RBI double from Jason Kipnis.
Robinson Cano hobbled off early after getting hit by a pitch from crosstown rival Matt Harvey of the hometown Mets. X-rays were negative and Cano said he shouldn’t miss any games for the Yankees.
Harvey and opposing starter Max Scherzer were among a record 39 first-time All-Stars in a game that featured four players 21 or younger - baseball’s next generation.
Both came out throwing 99 miles-per-hour heat, but it was Rivera, at 43 the oldest All-Star since 1991, who was the center of attention in his farewell season.
He came in from the bullpen to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” just like across town at Yankee Stadium, and was left alone on the field for more than a minute to take in an ovation.
Players on both sides clapped from the top of the dugout steps, and he tipped his cap to the crowd.
Then he went to work, retiring three straight hitters on 16 pitches before walking off to another ovation.