S.F. gets thumbs-up from All-Stars

Cleveland Indians ace and Vallejo native C.C. Sabathia spoke with pride while discussing how well San Francisco did in hosting Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

“I think we did a great job,” Sabathia said. “I like to say ‘we’ because I’m from here. And it just felt great to be home.”

Sabathia pitched a scoreless fifth inning for the American League, allowing only a Jose Reyes single. Aside from his work on the mound, he pointed to the reception Barry Bonds got throughout the game as a memorable moment.

“It was a great response,” Sabathia said. “Kind of gave me some goose bumps.”

American League manager Jim Leyland echoed Sabathia’s praise of The City and said he was impressed with the lack of negativity from local fans in Tuesday’s red-carpet parade.

“It was such a wonderful thing to see these different uniforms and every car get greeted with applause no matter if you were a National League fan or American League fan,” Leyland said. “People were cheering for everybody.”

JUNIOR’S GUN: Of the starting right fielders in the game, the AL’s Vladimir Guerrero of the Los Angeles Angels carried the reputation of having the spectacular throwing arm. But it was the NL’s Griffey who wowed fans. Griffey, a longtime center fielder who just this season made the move to right, gunned down Alex Rodriguez at home plate in the top of the fourth on Ivan Rodriguez’s single, the final out of the inning.

Griffey also singled home Jose Reyes in the bottom of the first for the game’s first run.

LASTING MEMORY: Giants fans proved to have long memories during the AL player introductions. Los Angeles Angels pitchers John Lackey and Francisco Rodriguez were both heartily booed during the pregame introductions, as the duo helped the Angels beat San Francisco in the 2002 World Series.

ETC.: Barry Bonds’ day got off to an auspicious start in the batting cage before the game. The Giants’ star started off his session with a perfect bunt and then smashed one into McCovey Cove on his first swing. … Reyes was elected by the fans to start last year’s All-Star Game but was forced out of the lineup due to injury. He was healthy this season and made the most of his start, going 3-for-3 out of the leadoff position with a stolen base and a run scored. … NL pitcher Brad Penny had the easiest night’s work. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ right-hander needed just seven pitches (five strikes) to retire the AL in the top of the second.

melliser@examiner.com


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