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Vargas, Salvy record scoreless frame in ASG

Royals lefty keeps NL squad at bay as AL prevails in 10th
July 11, 2017

MIAMI -- Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas had but two pitchers he wanted to face on Tuesday night and, as luck would have it, he went two-for-two in wishes granted while going 0-for-2 at the plate."I'd like to face Cubs closer [Wade Davis], and I'd like to face Rockies closer

MIAMI -- Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas had but two pitchers he wanted to face on Tuesday night and, as luck would have it, he went two-for-two in wishes granted while going 0-for-2 at the plate.
"I'd like to face [Cubs closer Wade Davis], and I'd like to face [Rockies closer Greg Holland]," Moustakas said before the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. "Those are good buddies of mine, and I was hanging out with them last night. It'd be fun just to face one of those guys at the All-Star Game."
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Moustakas got his wish, facing both of his former Royals teammates in the American League's 2-1 victory in 10 innings over the National League on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.
"It was fun," said Moustakas, who finished 0-for-2. "It was awesome to see them out there. I was definitely smiling, just laughing to myself a little bit."
Moustakas, who replaced Miguel Sano at third base in the seventh and stayed in to play the rest of the game, took his first at-bat in the top of the eighth. Holland won the battle by getting Moustakas to fly out to right field to start the inning.
Moustakas also came up empty against Davis, striking out in the 10th. Still, that at-bat took a scary turn when Moustakas inadvertently lined a foul ball that hit a photographer by the AL dugout and briefly paused the game. Clearly concerned, Moustakas immediately took a knee as a sign of respect, and then he walked over to check on the photographer before resuming his at-bat.
"He seemed like he was doing all right," Moustakas said. "I saw him when he went down in the tunnel after my at-bat, and I talked to him a little bit, and he seemed like he was OK. I told him I'm sorry, apologized a bunch. Obviously, you don't want anything like that to happen."
Moustakas was one of three Royals to appear in the Midsummer Classic, following starting catcher Salvador Perez and left-hander Jason Vargas.

Perez, who made his fifth career All-Star Game appearance, had a brief injury scare in the first inning after he was struck on the right hand by a foul tip off the bat of Giants catcher Buster Posey. A trainer came out to check on Perez, but he stayed in the game and caught five innings.
"Everything is fine, thanks to God," Perez said afterward.

Perez also finished 0-for-2 at the plate, though he was robbed by Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper in his first at-bat of the night. In the second, Perez lined a 2-1 sinker from Phillies reliever Pat Neshek into the gap in right-center field, but Harper made a diving grab to end the inning.
"The play happened, it was pretty good," Perez said. "I was happy. Good for him."
Perez later popped out against Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood to start the fifth.
Perez was also behind the plate for Vargas' All-Star debut in the fourth. Vargas worked around a leadoff single to Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado to post a scoreless inning, though Vargas got some help from Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts. After Ryan Zimmerman flied out to center field, Arenado attempted to tag and take second, but Betts made an outstanding throw to second baseman Jonathan Schoop, completing the double play.
"Mookie made a nice throw there to get Nolan out at second," Vargas said. "It felt really nice to get that out at second base."
Vargas capped his outing by coaxing a groundout from Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna to end the inning.
"It happened so quick," Vargas said. "You get loose and you get in the game. Fortunately enough, it was fairly quick for me out there in the game. You get a chance to kind of take a breath when you get in, and enjoy what just happened."
Worth noting
• Moustakas made a touching tribute to his mother, Connie, in the middle of the sixth inning, holding up a placard with her name written on it during the "Stand Up to Cancer" moment. Connie lost her two-year battle with cancer in August 2015, but her son firmly believes she is still watching him every day, and he honors her before each at-bat by etching her initials outside the batter's box.

Maria Guardado is a reporter for