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SL North withstands MVP Dominguez07/13/2010 1:03 AM ET
By Guy Curtright / Special to MLB.com
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- For Matt Dominguez, it was definitely a memorable night. In addition to winning MVP honors in the Double-A Southern League All-Star Game, the Marlins prospect got his first shaving cream pie in the face.
"I didn't know it would sting so much," the Jacksonville third baseman said. "It was all new to me. My eyes really smart."
The Marlins prospect was 3-for-4 with two home runs, making him an easy MVP choice, despite the fact that his South team lost to the North, 3-2, before a crowd of 7,782 at Joe Davis Stadium on Monday night.
Having the MVP on the losing team hardly seemed out of place in a game in which who played for whom was blurred. Because the North was short of available pitchers, Mobile's Josh Collmenter switched sides and got the victory with two scoreless innings as the North starter.
"I felt a little bit like Benedict Arnold," Collmenter said. "It was definitely different."
After completing his assignment for the North, the right-hander high-fived his temporary teammates and then headed back to the South dugout, stopping in the clubhouse to change into gray pants from white.
"They told us to bring both sets of uniforms, so I could have pitched in my home jersey," said Collmenter, who is 6-2 with a 1.59 ERA for Mobile. "But I didn't want to do that. I wanted everyone to see which team I really belonged to."
Collmenter faced three of his Bears teammates in the first inning -- Evan Frey, Collin Cowgill and Konrad Schmidt, retiring the first two and walking Schmidt. He allowed two hits and a walk and struck out a batter in his outing.
"It felt almost like a Spring Training exhibition game," Collmenter said. "But I knew this game was important and I didn't want any of my teammates to get a hit off me."
The only player who did much at the plate in the game was Dominguez, the Marlins' first-round draft choice in 2007.
Dominguez, 20, connected for home runs to left-center field in the fifth and seventh innings, drawing the South to within a run each time.
"I can't remember if I've had a two-homer game before," Dominguez said. "Maybe in my second year back in 2008."
Dominguez hit Jon Huber's first-pitch fastball to lead off the fifth and then on a 1-and-2 curveball by Anthony Varvaro with one out in the seventh. Both blasts cleared the fence about 380 feet away.
Then Dominguez got his shaving cream in the face from Jacksonville teammate Ozzie Martinez as he was being presented his ceremonial trophy bat following the game during MVP ceremonies.
"I didn't know who got me and where he came from," he said. "But it was Ozzie. Maybe I can get him back."
Dominguez went into the All-Star break hitting a modest .243, but he had 10 homers and 43 RBIs for the Suns.
"I'd like my average to be higher, but it has been coming up," he said. "I'm not disappointed. My other numbers are good."
The North scored twice in the second off Jacksonville's Tom Kohler, who leads the Southern League with an 11-2 record. The right-hander retired the side in order the in first, but allowed the first four batters to reach in the second.
Tennessee teammates Robinson Chirinos and Blake Lalli had RBI singles after a walk to Corey Smith and a double by David Sapplet.
The North quickly got the run back after Dominguez's first homer. With two outs, Tony Campana singled, Jake Kahaulelio walked and Johan Limonta collected an RBI single against Miguel Socolovich.
The South threatened again in the ninth with one out, when Orlando Mercado was hit by a pitch and Dominguez singled. But Chattanooga's Kenley Jansen struck out Willie Cabrera and got Mauro Gomez to ground into a force play to pick up the save.