(Sports Network) - The American League will try to stretch its unbeaten streak to 14 games over the National League when the respective All-Star teams battle Tuesday in the 81st edition of the Mid-Summer Classic at Angel Stadium.
This marks the first All-Star Game in Anaheim since the Big "A" played host in 1989 and the third time overall that the city has housed the event.
A pall though has been cast on the game with the news of the death of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
With last year's 4-3 victory in St. Louis, the American League enters tonight's affair with seven straight wins in the All-Star Game and has not lost to the National League since 1996, collecting 12 wins during that stretch, while battling to a 7-7 tie in the 2002 game that was called after 11 innings when both squads ran out of pitchers.
The unbeaten streak for the AL is the longest in the game's history, surpassing the Senior Circuit's 11-game run from 1972-1982. The AL is actually 18-3-1 in the last 22 All-Star Games and has not lost since falling 6-0 at Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium back in 1996.
Oddly enough, though, the American League only has a three-run differential over the NL in the previous 80 contests, 339-336. However since the start of the unbeaten streak, the AL has outscored the NL, 76-48.
The American League's last four wins have all been one-run victories.
This also marks the eighth straight year that the All-Star Game will determine which league gets home-field advantage in the World Series. The AL, of course, has won the previous seven contests.
"I know it only matters for the World Series, but in our home games during the playoffs, we were 7-1, so we understand that home-field advantage is very important to our American League club this year," said AL manager Joe Girardi.
On Monday, Girardi named Tampa Bay lefty David Price as his starter for Tuesday night's Mid-Summer Classic, making the 24-year-old hurler the youngest pitcher to start the game since a 23-year-old Dwight Gooden took the ball for the National League in 1988.
"It's definitely an honor," said Price, who is the youngest AL pitcher to open this game since 23-year-old Brett Saberhagen in 1987. "It hasn't set in yet. I'm very happy to be here."
The top overall pick in the 2007 draft, Price is 12-4 with a 2.42 ERA and 100 strikeouts this season for the Rays. He is one of six pitchers all-time under 25 years of age to reach 12 wins, an ERA below 2.50 and 100 strikeouts heading into the All-Star break, and the first in 25 years since Roger Clemens did so in 1986 (15-2, 2.48 ERA, 146 strikeouts).
He is also the youngest to be leading either the AL or NL in wins and ERA at the All-Star break since 23-year-old Scott Erickson with Minnesota in 1991 (12 wins, 1.83 ERA).
The lineup for the American League will open with Seattle right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, who will be followed by New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who is replacing the injured Justin Morneau of Minnesota.
Texas center fielder Josh Hamilton will bat cleanup, with his teammate and former Angels star Vladimir Guerrero next as the designated hitter. Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria will hit sixth, followed by Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and Rays left fielder Carl Crawford.
"You look at numbers and how guys have performed," said Girardi when asked how he constructed his lineup. "We have quality RBI guys in the middle of the lineup and speed at the top and bottom."
Philadelphia's Charlie Manuel, who will be guiding the National League for the second straight year, tabbed Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez to be his starter. Jimenez has had an incredible start to the 2010 season with a record of 15-1 and a 2.20 earned run average in 18 starts. He has already matched his victory total from last year and leads the majors in wins.
"It's a huge honor for me just to be here," said Jimenez. "I'm going to cherish the moment tomorrow. It's an honor to be in the clubhouse with all these stars."
The 26-year-old Dominican native threw the season's first no-hitter and the first in Rockies history on April 17 against Atlanta. He last pitched on Thursday against St. Louis and threw eight innings in a 4-2 victory, becoming the first National League pitcher to reach 15 wins before the All-Star break since Greg Maddux in 1988.
"He's a very talented guy," said Manuel, who indicated that Florida ace Josh Johnson was also considered. "We've got some real talented pitchers on the National League squad. He's 15-1 and his record speaks for itself."
Manuel also revealed his lineup for Tuesday's contest. Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez will lead off for the National League and will be followed by Atlanta second baseman Martin Prado, who is starting for the injured Chase Utley of Philadelphia. St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols will bat third, followed by Philadelphia's Ryan Howard, who was chosen by Manuel as the designated hitter.
New York Mets third baseman David Wright will hit fifth, followed by Milwaukee left fielder Ryan Braun, Dodgers center fielder Andre Ethier and Brewers' right fielder Corey Hart, who is starting in place of injured Atlanta rookie Jason Heyward. Yadier Molina of St. Louis will catch and bat ninth.
Next year's All-Star Game will be contested at Chase Field in Arizona.