Steve Medrano was not supposed to be an all-star, not with a .250 batting average, no home runs and seven RBI.
But when a few selected all-stars were recently promoted, Medrano was named as a replacement. Medrano, a shortstop for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, hit a three-run home run in the top of the 10th inning to lead the Carolina League to a 10-6 victory over the California League at The Diamond in an all-star game between the Class A leagues.
"It's been a while since I've hit one," said Medrano, a native of nearby La Puente, Calif. "The pitch before that, [Modesto pitcher Jim Brink] threw me a change-up and made me look bad. I thought he'd throw it again, and he did."
The Carolina League all-stars featured catcher Jayson Werth, outfielder Luis Matos and pitcher Jason Marr -- all of the Frederick Keys -- and shortstop Eddy Martinez and designated hitter Andy Bevins of the Potomac Cannons.
The game was uncharacteristically sloppy for an all-star game: The teams combined for five errors and two wild pitches. The teams also gave their parent clubs little hope of pitching help, yielding 25 hits in the game.
The Carolina League never trailed, but allowed the California League to tie the game in the eighth, and again in the ninth with single runs in each inning.
Werth, the Baltimore Orioles' first-round draft pick in 1997, went 0 for 3, grounding out each time. Matos went 2 for 5 with a single, double, RBI and scored a run. Marr, despite giving up an unearned, game-tying run and walking two in the bottom of the ninth, earned the victory.