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Jean Segura’s memorable All-Star Game only happened because Nelson Cruz gave him his at-bat

Jul 20, 2018, 6:49 PM | Updated: 6:49 pm
Jean Segura made the most of his opportunity to hit in the MLB All-Star Game. (AP)...
Jean Segura made the most of his opportunity to hit in the MLB All-Star Game. (AP)
(AP)

While Jean Segura didn’t win the MLB All-Star Game MVP award, it’s hard to argue that anybody had more of an impact in the American League’s 8-6 victory. His big night under the bright lights may never have happened if it wasn’t for Mariners teammate Nelson Cruz, however.

“Nellie gave me of his at-bats to participate in the game,” Segura told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer on the Mariners Pregame Show on Friday.

Segura won the Final Vote to join the AL team just days before the All-Star break, but there was no guarantee he was going to be play. When another one of Seattle’s four All-Stars found out Segura was at risk of not playing in Washington, D.C., he did something about it.

“It wasn’t for sure he was gonna hit, so I told him ‘I’ll give you my at-bat,’” Cruz said. “Worked out good.”

You can say that again. Segura crushed a three-run home run to break a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning, a play that earned him a chance to stay in the game and eventually get another plate appearance when the game went to a 10th inning. That time Segura singled to right field and later scored on a sacrifice fly.

Segura had told Cruz earlier that he was going to hit a home run in the All-Star Game, so when he actually did, his excitement was evident (well, both of theirs was). While rounding third base, Segura got so much air jumping to high-five AL third-base coach Gary Pettis that he nearly scared the Astros assistant.

“I was so happy about it. Soon as I turned at third base, I knew my family was at the top of the dugout and my teammates and everybody. … It was crazy,” Segura said.

It was a memorable moment that was only made possible by the generosity of a teammate.

“He’s a great teammate. One of the best teammates I’ve ever played with. Great person,” Segura said of Cruz. “To be able to do that for one of your teammates, one of your friends, that’s what it’s all about.”

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Jean Segura’s memorable All-Star Game only happened because Nelson Cruz gave him his at-bat