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Greene's 1st All-Star trip 'a dream come true'

Tigers' closer pitches perfect 7th inning in American League's win
@beckjason
July 10, 2019

Tigers closer Shane Greene has no idea what kind of role he’ll be filling after the Trade Deadline at the end of July. For Tuesday’s All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, his role was that of a seventh-inning setup man. He handled it perfectly, protecting a one-run lead in the American

Tigers closer Shane Greene has no idea what kind of role he’ll be filling after the Trade Deadline at the end of July. For Tuesday’s All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, his role was that of a seventh-inning setup man. He handled it perfectly, protecting a one-run lead in the American League's 4-3 win over the National League thanks to some help from a former teammate.

Greene pitched to James McCann for most of the right-hander's first three seasons in Detroit, until the Tigers parted ways with the catcher last winter. Both made it to Cleveland for their first Midsummer Classic, where they were reunited for an inning -- Greene representing the Tigers, McCann one of three representatives for the White Sox.

Both had a long road to make it.

“I had a pretty hard road getting here. I made it here,” Greene said before the game. “It doesn’t really matter how we got here. We all got here, and that’s something we can enjoy together.”

Greene settled in quickly by inducing a first-pitch flyout from former AL Central nemesis Mike Moustakas. He went to a full count against J.T. Realmuto before retiring him on a popout to first base, then retired Max Muncy on a groundout to shortstop.

It was another clean inning for Greene in a season that already featured 11 of them, even if it wasn’t his ideal scenario.

“In a perfect world, I’d strike out three guys on nine pitches, right?” Greene said before the game. “That’s a perfect world.”

Before the game, Greene listened to his former Yankees teammate CC Sabathia give a speech to the AL team. The message, Greene said, was to enjoy it, because it goes quickly.

“It was amazing,” Greene said. “He’s someone we can all respect, and for him to talk, he took the floor and everybody listened.”

Greene recorded a hold in the AL’s seventh straight All-Star Game win. Even short of perfection, Greene enjoyed his first All-Star experience.

“I had the time of my life,” Greene said. “Obviously, it’s a dream come true for me. I made my first big league starts here, so I already have a special place in my heart for this stadium. And for my first All-Star Game to be here, it’s pretty special.”

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.