Saunders win last All-Star spots
Send a link to a friend
[July 09, 2016]
(Reuters) - San Francisco Giants
first baseman Brandon Belt and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Michael
Saunders will be first-time All-Stars after winning a fan vote on
Friday for the final places in the Midsummer Classic.
Belt overtook Pirates left fielder Starling Marte in the voting to
join the roster for the National League in Tuesday's game against
the American League at Petco Park in San Diego.
Saunders, a British Columbia native, rode a wave of Canadian support
to take his place in the contest over second-place finisher George
Springer of the Houston Astros.
The suddenly hot Belt is batting .331 (46-for-139) with 22 runs, 19
doubles, six homers and 24 RBIs in his past 36 games and his 27
doubles lead the NL for the Giants, who top the major leagues with a
Saunders also showed that it helps to be on a tear during the
campaigning. He is 12 for his last 24 in helping the Blue Jays
stretch their winning streak to six.
"The All-Star Game, not only in baseball but in all sports,
represents the top caliber of players in their sport," Saunders said
during the balloting.
"To have my name mentioned alongside the great players that are in
the All-Star Game ... it's an honor."
Two notable replacement pitchers were announced on Friday.
Washington Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer was named to the NL
All-Star team to replace team mate Stephen Strasburg, who is 11-0
but has recently come off the disabled list and the Nats prefer the
San Diego native does not pitch.
Scherzer, the 2013 American League All-Star starter as a Detroit
Tiger, is 9-6 with a 3.21 ERA and a major league-leading 155
strikeouts in 120 2/3 innings.
Also joining the NL is a surprise addition, 43-year-old Bartolo
Colon of the New York Mets.
[to top of second column]
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt (9) hits a one-run single off of
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (not pictured)
during the third inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff
Curry-USA TODAY Sports
The roly-poly Dominican was added by NL manager Terry Collins, who
selected his own Mets pitcher to stand in for the Giants' Madison
Bumgarner, who is pitching on Sunday and would not be available to
throw on Tuesday.
"It means a lot, especially for someone my age," Colon said through
an interpreter. "It surprised me a lot. There's a lot of great
ballplayers around the league, and I wasn't expecting this."
Colon, who is 7-4 with a 3.28 ERA, returns to the scene of one of
his greatest feats.
A notoriously poor hitter, he became the oldest player in major
league history to hit his first home run when he took James Shields
deep at Petco Park on May 7.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Andrew Both)
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.