OAKLAND, JULY 4 -- They played through the heat of afternoon and the vicious shadows of twilight and, finally, the cool of an East Bay evening.
And then, what had been the longest scoreless game in All-Star Game history finally ended just less than than four hours after it began with Tim Raines' triple scoring two runs in the top of the 13th inning to give the National League a 2-0 victory before 49,671 at the Oakland Coliseum.
Raines' hit helped end a game in which both sides totaled only 14 hits off 15 pitchers. It scored Ozzie Virgil and Hubie Brooks, who started the only scoring rally of the game with singles off Oakland reliever Jay Howell.
Lee Smith, the seventh National League pitcher, got the victory with three innings of scoreless relief, and Sid Fernandez got the save by pitching a scoreless 13th.
The loser was Howell, the seventh American League pitcher. He had a tough act to follow, coming in after six previous American Leaguers had allowed no runs on five hits in 11 innings.
Raines' hit gave the National League an 8-0 record in extra-inning All-Star Games and also gave the NL its 22nd victory in the last 25 games.
National League Manager Davey Johnson finished the game with no players left on his bench. Fernandez had been his 28th to get into the game.
American League Manager John McNamara finished with only pitchers Mike Witt and Bruce Hurst, but whether he had them available to begin with was in question. Witt had pitched only Sunday, and Hurst left his last start with a sore elbow.
This was the fifth shutout in all-star history, the first since 1968.
Virgil led off the 13th with a single. Pitcher Smith struck out trying to bunt, but Brooks singled to right. Willie McGee then flied to left for the second out before Raines drove a triple to left, his third hit of the game. He was named the game's MVP.
Several players had said infielders and hitters might would have trouble once shadows began creeping across the infield, but, even before the shadows, pitchers controlled the game.
American League starter Bret Saberhagen, pitching with only two days rest, opened with three shutout innings, retiring nine of the 10 hitters he faced. Only two balls were even hit out of the infield, one of them coming in the first inning when Andre Dawson lined a two-out double into the left-field corner. The other was in the third when Ozzie Smith led off with a fly ball to left field. Saberhagen needed only 31 pitches to finish his three innings.
"My arm didn't feel too good yesterday," he said. "I was concerned about how far I could go, but I felt pretty good. I threw mostly fastballs and had pretty good control. That's what I was hoping for. I came here to have a great time, which I did, and I came here to win."
National League starter Mike Scott also pitched well, needing 18 pitches for his two shutout innings. In the second inning, Jack Clark got him out of trouble after Dave Winfield led off the inning with a double to left.
Cal Ripken followed with a liner that appeared headed down the right-field line, but Clark leaped and caught it, then threw the ball to shortstop Smith to double Winfield off second base.
"I didn't have my real good stuff," Scott said. "My split-finger fastball wasn't exploding. When you don't have your good stuff, you just try not to walk anybody and keep the ball in play. Jack Clark's play saved a hit and kept a guy from scoring. I didn't want to embarrass myself, and I didn't. It was more fun than a playoff, which was more intense."
Rick Sutcliffe of the Chicago Cubs and Jack Morris of the Detroit Tigers followed the starters, and, with the shadows spread across the infield, each threw two shutout innings.
Morris allowed a base runner in each of his innings, but both came after there were two outs. He was also helped when second base umpire Vic Voltaggio blew a call when Mike Schmidt tried to steal second in the fourth. Voltaggio called Schmidt out when television replays showed he was safe.
Sutcliffe allowed one base runner, and that was Ripken, who singled with two outs in the fourth. Terry Kennedy followed with a fielder's choice grounder.
The twilight didn't appear to become a major factor until the fifth when Rickey Henderson's bouncer confused second baseman Juan Samuell, who let the ball deflect off his glove. Henderson was given a single, and Orel Hershiser walked Don Mattingly but got Wade Boggs on a fielder's choice grounder to end the inning.
"It wasn't the sun that was a problem for me," Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg said. "It was the pitching. The pitchers have a great advantage in an All-Star Game. You only see them once a year, and they come in and throw hard for a couple innings. It's really a pitcher's game most of the time."
"I enjoyed everything these two days except the two innings I threw today," Sutcliffe said. "I couldn't have been more nervous. The whole world was watching, and I didn't want to be the one to give up the first run. Thankfully, I got through it okay."
Shadows covered the infield by the sixth, but the tempo of the game didn't change. Hershiser followed Scott and Sutcliffe, and he allowed two base runners. The hardest ball hit off him was in the sixth when Dawson made a nice running catch of a liner by Winfield.
Seattle's Mark Langston was the third American League pitcher, and he faced only six hitters in the sixth and seventh innings, getting three outs on strikeouts.
But in the last of the seventh, Dwight Evans led off with a single off Pittsburgh's Rick Reuschel. Harold Reynolds bunted him into scoring position and, after Reuschel struck out Kirby Puckett, Oakland rookie Mark McGwire sent Dale Murphy into the right-field corner to make a basket catch of his towering fly.
"Without making any alibis, it was awfully hard seeing the ball," Schmidt said. "You couldn't pick up the spin or the rotation."
Darryl Strawberry agreed, saying, "I just couldn't follow the ball at all. It kind of snuck up on you. It was almost impossible to see. You just try to make the best of it. I wanted to do something special, and I'm sorry it didn't happen."
Meanwhile, the National League didn't come close to scoring until the ninth. After Gary Carter walked in the fifth, American League pitchers retired 11 straight hitters.
That streak ended when Raines singled off Dave Righetti in the top of the ninth and, for a while, it appeared that would end the shutout. Righetti caught Raines off first base but McGwire threw wide to second, allowing Raines to go to third. Henke came in to pitch to Samuel and got him on a fly to shallow right, and Raines didn't test Evans' arm. He then got Jeffrey Leonard on a foul pop behind the plate for the third out.
The American League came right back with a scoring chance in the last of the ninth. Steve Bedrosian walked Winfield with one out, and Tony Fernandez sacrificed. Evans also walked, and Reynolds then hit a chopper toward Keith Hernandez at first. He threw to second for the force on Evans, and Hubie Brooks threw back to Bedrosian covering first.
His throw was wild, and Bedrosian made a good play just to come up with the ball. Then when Winfield tried to come home, he righted himself and threw Winfield out at the plate with Virgil surviving a collision and holding onto the ball.