Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez homered off former Kansas City teammate Johnny Cueto during a six-pitch span in the second inning, Hosmer added an RBI single to become MVP of the All-Star Game and the American League beat the Nationals 4-2 Tuesday night for its fourth straight win.
Kris Bryant of the Cubs led the parade of sparkling young talent with a first-inning home run. The lead was short-lived, with Hosmer and Perez going deep for a 3-1 lead in the second, sandwiched around Mookie Betts' single. Cueto was hard to miss in the center of the field, wearing lime green and orange spikes.
The Yankees' Dellin Betances flashed his 100 mph heat, and Astros reliever Will Harris came on to throw a called third strike past Cardinals rookie Aledmys Diaz on a 3-2 pitch on the outside corner with the bases loaded to end the eighth.
Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera pitched a hitless sixth for the AL, which will open the Series at home for the 11th time in 14 years since the All-Star winner has been used to determine the hosts for Games 1 and 2.
Kansas City became baseball royalty last fall, bursting to a 2-0 lead over the New York Mets at Kauffman Stadium, where Cueto pitched a two-hitter in the second game.
Cleveland's Corey Kluber pitched a 1-2-3 second inning for the win, and Zach Britton induced Nolan Arenado's game-ending, double-play grounder for the save as the AL cut its deficit to 43-42 with two ties.
Ortiz hit a smash down the first-base line that Anthony Rizzo snagged to rob him of a potential RBI double in the first and walked against Jose Fernandez in the third.
When Edwin Encarnacion came out to pinch run for him in the fourth, Ortiz waved to the crowd and then spent his AL teammates came out of the dugout to exchange hugs as the crowd of 42,386 rose in tribute.
The popular Big Papi plans to retire at 40 after this season with Boston.