Brewers All-Stars Jean Segura, Carlos Gomez have night to remember
JUL 16, 2013 11:01p ET
Not only was the 23-year-old appearing in his first All-Star Game, but Segura had just witnessed one of the best moments in the history of the annual game.
As the top of the eighth inning ended, the bullpen gate swung open and Metallica's "Enter Sandman" began to blare. That means one thing in New York: Mariano Rivera is coming on. Entering his 13th and final All-Star Game, Rivera took the field by himself, as each member of both teams joined the crowd in a standing ovation.
The moment was as powerful of one as there is in sports. Leading off the inning for the National League? It was one heck of a time for Segura to make his All-Star Game debut.
Milwaukee's young shortstop ended up grounding out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis for the first out of the inning.
"It was special," Rivera told FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal of the ovation he got coming onto the field. "Seeing the fans cheering and both teams standing out of the dugout -- managers, coaches, players -- it was priceless.
"I've never been in a situation like this. The only one different was the World Series. Besides that this has been right there."
American League manager Jim Leyland wanted to ensure Rivera a chance to pitch in his final All-Star Game and because the American League was the road team, the bottom of the ninth inning wasn't guaranteed. Though the story would have been perfect to get Rivera the save, the American League led just 2-0 in the eighth inning and could have blown the game before Rivera had a chance to come in.
"I wanted to pitch," Rivera told Rosenthal. "You know the game of baseball, anything can happen. Leyland wanted to make sure I was going to pitch, so it was a great idea. I appreciate him giving me the opportunity to do this here in New York, for the fans here. I think the plan was perfect."
That meant Segura and Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez would have to face Rivera for their lone at-bats Tuesday. While incredibly difficult and probably surreal in the moment, Segura and Gomez were left with a memory they will remember forever.
Gomez came up with two outs and nobody on base. After working the count to 2-2, Gomez grounded out to Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta to end the eighth inning, as Milwaukee bookended Rivera's last All-Star Game appearance.
"I couldn't ask for anything better than this," Rivera said. "I appreciate every bit of it. From the fans, from my teammates, from my peers, from the other dugout, they are a bunch of great guys. They are a bunch of players that appreciate it, and I appreciate them for being like that with me."
While Gomez and Segura got just one at-bat apiece, both got plenty of action in the field. Entering in the top of the sixth inning at shortstop for Troy Tulowitzki, Segura showed a quick release to start a double play in the seventh inning.
Gomez came in the game in right field in the seventh inning and showed his great speed, limiting Royals catcher Salvador Perez to a single on a ball that easily could have been a double down the line in the eighth inning. Playing deep in the ninth inning with former teammate Prince Fielder at the plate, Gomez dove and just missed a fly ball, allowing Fielder to scamper to third base.
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