MINNEAPOLIS -- Giants right fielder Hunter Pence stood in the on-deck circle during the ninth inning of Tuesday night's All-Star Game, yearning for another chance to step in the batter's box.
But Minnesota closer Glen Perkins dashed Pence's hopes, finishing a 1-2-3 effort by coaxing a groundout from Colorado's Charlie Blackmon to seal the American League's 5-3 victory over the National League.
Of course, Pence believed until the very end that the NL could prevail.
"I was pretty excited," he said. "I had a pretty good opportunity right there but it wasn't meant to be. It was their night."Greg Holland, Pence ended the seventh inning by hitting a one-hop smash to third base after swinging hard through the first pitch.
"If I knew I'd get one at-bat, I'd want to take the kind of swings I did," Pence said.
Derek Jeter probably would say the same thing. The Yankees shortstop, who plans to retire at the end of the season, went 2-for-2 while basking in the adulation of players and fans alike.
"It was pretty special to see him get two hits and do what he has done for a long time -- stay inside the ball and drive it to right field," Pence said.
Asked if he felt emotional while watching Jeter, Pence said, "I wouldn't say 'emotional.' I was honored to be here."
Right-hander Tim Hudson, the Giants' only other active All-Star representative, didn't pitch but received an eyeful of Jeter.
"Class act," Hudson said. "He's been such an ambassador to the game for a lot of years. Of course he had to go 2-for-2. That's kind of him in a nutshell. The game will miss him for sure."
Giants don't dwell on losing Series advantage
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Giants will digest the result of Tuesday's All-Star Game. But they won't let it sicken them.
The American League's 5-3 triumph meant that the Giants won't have home-field advantage if they reach the World Series. Matters were different in 2010 and 2012, when the National League's All-Star Game victories enabled the Giants to play their first two Series games at home. San Francisco won all four of those games en route to a five-game conquest of Texas in 2010 and a four-game sweep over Detroit in 2012.
Of course, the Giants still face the monumental task of reaching the World Series. That's why their active All-Star representatives, right fielder Hunter Pence and right-hander Tim Hudson, refused to dwell on the AL's edge in October that was forged here in July. Looking past the postseason's preceding rounds would invite defeat long before the World Series.
Pence, who entered the game in the bottom of the sixth and went 0-for-1, praised the AL's effort.
"They earned it," he said. "That's the rules. I think it's great.
"This doesn't mean that the American League immediately wins the World Series."
Hudson, who didn't pitch in the game, acknowledged the impact of the AL's victory but didn't consider it a be-all, end-all factor.
"Home-field advantage [in the postseason] is a big deal. That's why the All-Star Game has been so important the last few years," he said. "For us, we have to get there, then try to make the best of it."
Idle All-Star Hudson gets praise from Marichal
MINNEAPOLIS -- Giants right-hander Tim Hudson was among three National Leaguers not to appear in Tuesday night's All-Star Game. But he's accustomed to that.
Hudson has pitched only once in his four All-Star forays. He threw a scoreless inning at Atlanta in 2000 and did not appear due to injury at Houston in 2004, both while a member of the A's. He then was not installed in the game at Anaheim in 2010 while performing for Atlanta.
Hudson said after the American League's 5-3 victory Tuesday that he'll throw a between-starts bullpen session Thursday to prepare for his Saturday start at Miami.
Meanwhile, a distinguished All-Star guest praised Hudson's overall performance this year.
Asked whether Hudson's pitching style reminded him of his own, Hall of Famer Juan Marichal responded emphatically, repeating, "Yes."
Marichal was here to participate in various All-Star Game-related festivities. But when he's at home in the Dominican Republic, he said he watches nearly every Giants game via satellite broadcasts. This has enabled him to scrutinize Hudson this year.
"I like to watch him pitch because he's around the plate very often and gets a lot of guys out with pitches off the plate," Marichal said.
Marichal's remarks prompted a smile from Hudson.
"To say I remind him of himself is truly an honor," Hudson said. "That's a tremendous compliment. He's obviously one of the best pitchers ever to take the mound and one of the best in Giants history. So that's very humbling."