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Goodbye to the Captain: Jeter leads AL All-Stars vs. NL

<p>New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter makes his final All-Star Game appearance on Tuesday, as the American League tries to make it two straight wins over the National League in the 85th Midsummer Classic at Target Field.</p>

(SportsNetwork.com) - New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter makes his final All-Star Game appearance on Tuesday, as the American League tries to make it two straight wins over the National League in the 85th Midsummer Classic at Target Field.

Jeter was chosen by the fans to appear in his 14th All-Star Game in this, the expected final season of his illustrious 20-year career. Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell named Jeter as his leadoff hitter when he announced his lineup for Tuesday's contest.

"To celebrate a player who's not only a champion but a guy that sets the bar that I think all players should aspire to -- the way he's handled himself with class, with performance, no doubt a Hall of Famer," Farrell said. "This will be a day that many baseball fans that are either in the ballpark or watching, will remember -- Derek's last All-Star Game."

Jeter, who played his first All-Star Game back in 1998, will likely be honored at some point during the contest similar to the way former teammate Mariano Rivera was celebrated during the AL's 3-0 win a year ago at Citi Field.

Following Jeter in the lineup will be Angels phenom Mike Trout in left field and Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano.

Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera will bat cleanup, followed by Toronto's Jose Bautista in right field, Baltimore designated hitter Nelson Cruz, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson and Royals catcher Salvador Perez.

Farrell also named Seattle right-hander Felix Hernandez as his starter for Tuesday's contest. Hernandez, the first-ever Venezuelan to start this game, is 11-2 this season with an AL-best 2.12 ERA in 20 starts.

"It's an honor to be here and it's always fun (to be in an All-Star Game)," said Hernandez, who joins Randy Johnson (1995, '97) as the only other Seattle pitcher to start the game. "I just have to go out and do what I have to do, throw zeroes up there and help my team win."

He hasn't given up more than two runs in a start since May 12. In fact in the 11 starts since that outing he is 7-1 with a 1.48 ERA and .173 batting average against.

Hernandez will be opposed by St. Louis righty Adam Wainwright, who was chosen by his manager Mike Matheny ahead of Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw.

"It was not an easy task" said Matheny. "There were a lot of deserving pitchers out there."

Wainwright is certainly deserving, as he is 12-4 with a 1.83 ERA in 19 starts. He is tied for the National League lead in victories with Cincinnati's Alfredo Simon and trails Kershaw's 1.78 ERA, although the Los Angeles lefty does not have enough innings pitched to qualify for the best mark.

"Aside from winning two World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals, this has to be one of the highlights of my baseball career," said Wainwright. "It's really cool. I can't wait to go out and hopefully lead our National League squad to a victory."

The lineup for the visiting National League will open with reigning MVP Andrew McCutchen of Pittsburgh in center field and will follow with Dodgers star Yasiel Puig in right field and Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt will bat fourth and Miami's Giancarlo Stanton will serve as the designated hitter. Milwaukee third baseman Aramis Ramirez will hit sixth, followed by Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley, Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy and Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez in left field.

Once again, the winner of the All-Star Game will give its league home-field advantage in the World Series.

This is the third time that the MLB All-Star Game will be played in Minneapolis and the first since the NL pulled out a 6-1 win back in 1985 at the Metrodome.

Next year's All-Star Game will be contested at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

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