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Paredes powers AL to '09 All-Star win08/18/2009 10:43 PM ET
By Bill Albright / Special to MLB.com
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Not even Mother Nature could stop the New York-Penn League All-Star Game.
On the heels of a strong storm that passed through Happy Valley about three hours before game time, the American League Stars erupted for three runs in the seventh inning en route to a 4-2 win over the National League before 5,401 fans at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
"One of the old sayings you hear in baseball is how do you spell fun, WIN," said AL skipper Travis Fryman of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. "It was a good game and we got everybody in.
"We had a little mixup at the end and we batted out of turn and it cost our shortstop an at-bat, so he didn't get a chance to bat. Everything else went well and there was a lot of talent out on the field tonight."
Although his club came out on the short end, NL skipper Pedro Lopez of the Brooklyn Cyclones felt the fans got their money's worth.
"I thought in mind it was a great show for the fans," he said. "Both sides had great pitching and we just made a couple of mistakes by elevating the ball in the zone for the two home runs, but other than that, I thought it was a great game."
Taking a cue from the regular season, pitching dominated the midsummer classic, especially through three innings. In the fourth, Welinton Ramirez of the Auburn Doubledays picked on a fastball from Vermont's Evan Bronson and deposited it in the left-field picnic area for a solo homer and a 1-0 AL lead.
That held up until the fifth, when J. D. Martinez of the Tri-City ValleyCats answered Ramirez's solo shot with one of his own off Auburn's Egan Smith.
"He put a great swing on the ball," Lopez said. "When he went out there I told him that was going to be his last at-bat, so he had better do something. He got a pitch up in the zone that he could handle, hit the ball over the left-field fence and that was nice to see."
Pitchers from both teams cruised again until the seventh, when Ty Kelly of the Aberdeen IronBirds doubled and scored the go-ahead run on a base hit by Staten Island's Zoilo Almonte.
Yankees' teammate Jimmy Paredes made it 4-1 one out later when he belted a two-run opposite-field blast to left.
"I was looking for a changeup, but the pitcher threw me a fastball out over the plate and I hit it good," Paredes said through a translator.
The 20-year-old second baseman was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
Down by three runs, the NL stars didn't go quietly. They scored in the bottom of the ninth and brought the tying run to the plate.
Scrappers right-hander Clayton Cook ran into control problems as he walked the first two batters he faced before Mahoning Valley teammate Cory Burns bailed him out by coaxing Tri-City's Russell Dixon to bounce into a game-ending double play.
"(Cook) came in, he is a young kid and the 3-2 pitch was a bad pitch [breaking pitch], and I am not sure why he threw that," Fryman said.
"I don't care if he pitches good here, I just hope he pitches good for me the rest of the year. Burns did what we asked him to do by closing out the game."
Lopez was pleased with the way his players battled in the ninth.
"The kids came back and battled in the last inning," he said. "We had one run on the board and we had two guys on, but then we hit into the double play. I thought it was a good game all around. What else can you say?"
Aberdeen's Jake Smith was credited with the win after pitching a perfect sixth. Zach Foster of the host State College Spikes took the loss after surrendering three runs on three hits in the seventh.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.