Jose Quintana's first All-Star Game appearance was a storybook affair, although less of a fairytale, and more of a biography.
Quintana started off his inning -- the fifth -- with three immaculately located fastballs to Daniel Murphy ... and even with the league's best players behind him, his team found a way to let him down. Jose Altuve bobbled the grounder, and his throw to first was late. Umpire Kerwin Danley initially called Murphy out, but it was overturned after a quick review.
Yet just as he's done so often for the White Sox, Quintana still navigated the inning successfully. Manny Machado helped, turning a slow Nolan Arenado chopper into an out at second by cutting across the shortstop. That turned out to be big when Wil Myers delivered a two-out double, as Arenado could only reach third. With two runners in scoring position and two outs, Quintana worked over Wilson Ramos with a three-pitch strikeout -- one fastball, two curves -- to end his scoreless inning.
In the process, Quintana outpitched Chris Sale. The Condor started for the American League and gave up a two-out homer to Kris Bryant, who entered the game with six strikeouts in six appearances against Sale lifetime. The good news? It didn't count, and now Sale knows that he might not want to throw a first-pitch fastball down the middle to the Cubs third baseman, even at 96.
That said, Sale came back to strike out Myers with a slider, and he only threw nine pitches during his inning, so he barely broke a sweat (Quintana labored only a little more, throwing 10 of 13 pitches for strikes). Moreover, the American League got him off the hook. Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez homered off former teammate Johnny Cueto to give the American League a 3-1 lead through two, and it led the rest of the game en route to a 4-2 winner.
Corey Kluber, who relieved Sale after the first inning, got the win for his scoreless inning. Hosmer, who added an RBI double in the third, took home the MVP.
With this victory, the American League gets home-field advantage. Game 1 of the World Series will take place at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday, Oct. 25.