The AL didn't go down without some ninth-inning drama, started by David Ortiz's leadoff single. But Jonathan Broxton sealed it, helped by an alert play from right fielder Marlon Byrd and shaky baserunning by Big Papi.
Ortiz was on first with one out when John Buck hit a blooper that Byrd scooped up and threw to second for a forceout on the slow-moving Boston DH. With Alex Rodriguez standing on the steps in the AL dugout, Ian Kinsler flied out and the NL had its win.
"It felt awesome for us to get the win and break the streak," Broxton said.
Until MVP McCann cleared the bases, Robinson Cano's fifth-inning sacrifice fly stood as the lone run in a game expected to be decided by the loaded pitching staffs on each side. McCann's deep fly ball to the warning track in right gave the NL hope in the fifth. When he made good with that bases-loaded double off Matt Thornton, Atlanta's steady catcher hit second base and pumped his right fist. The three guys who scored headed to the dugout with a renewed swagger.
Cano and his fellow Yankees All-Stars wore black armbands after the death of longtime New York owner George Steinbrenner from a heart attack earlier Tuesday in Tampa, Fla., at age 80. Pictures of The Boss showed on two video screens before a pregame moment of silence, and flags hung at half-staff.
"It's a difficult time, on a great day for baseball, the All-Star game, something everyone looks to," Yankees and AL manager Joe Girardi said. "A great man in baseball passed. He's meant so much to not only this organization, but to the game of baseball, and to all of us personally."
It took the NL 14 years to break through after several close calls. The National League lost the last two 4-3, including that 15-inning affair in 2008 at Yankee Stadium. The two before that were also one-run defeats. In 2002, they tied 7-7.
Phillies chairman Bill Giles had razzed Charlie Manuel that his job was on the line if the NL didn't finally win again.
Turns out this National League lineup didn't need star Washington rookie Stephen Strasburg -- though the phenom pitcher might have generated a nice buzz around the ballpark in those early innings.