5 Cubs elected to start in All-Star Game
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 06, 2016 12:50 PM
FILE - In this June 13, 2016, file photo, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant fields a ball hit by Washington Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman during a baseball game in Washington. The Cubs became the first team since the 1976 Cincinnati Reds' Big Red Machine to have five players voted as All-Star Game starters when their entire infield earned the honor Tuesday along with center fielder Dexter Fowler. ¶ First baseman Anthony Rizzo, second baseman Ben Zobrist, shortstop Addison Russell and third baseman Bryant also were elected. The only other team to start four infielders was the 1963 St. Louis Cardinals. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — After topping the major leagues during the first half of the season as they seek their first title in more than a century, the Chicago Cubs dominate the rosters for next week's All-Star game.
The Cubs became the first team since the 1976 Cincinnati Reds' Big Red Machine to have five players voted as All-Star starters, and seven Chicago players in all were picked Tuesday for the July 12 game at San Diego's Petco Park.
Chicago's entire infield was voted in — first baseman Anthony Rizzo, second baseman Ben Zobrist, shortstop Addison Russell and third baseman Kris Bryant — along with center fielder Dexter Fowler, who hopes to recover from a hamstring strain that has sidelined him since June 18. The only other team to start four infielders was the 1963 St. Louis Cardinals.
"It'll be really cool starting the game and throwing to those guys in San Diego," Rizzo said.
Rizzo led NL players with 3.2 million votes, and Zobrist won the closest race by finishing 88 votes ahead of Washington's Daniel Murphy for second base. Chicago's Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester were selected for the National League pitching staff.
Chicago got off to a 47-20 start but has slumped for the past few weeks. The Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908, but have the second-most All-Stars in their history behind eight in 2008.
The game will feature 11 first-time starters, the most since 2005. In a sign of the sport's generational change, 12 of the 17 elected starters are 26 or younger.
Boston has six All-Stars, including four starters. Designated hitter David Ortiz, who is retiring at the end of the season, became a 10-time All-Star and is joined in the lineup by a trio of first-timers: shortstop Xander Bogaerts and outfielders Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts. Knuckleballer Steven Wright and closer Craig Kimbrel also were selected.
"Four days of rest and chilling is good, but this All-Star Game, I'm going to try to enjoy it the most," said the 40-year-old Ortiz said.
Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez and first baseman Eric Hosmer were voted to the AL starting lineup along with Houston second baseman Jose Altuve, Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado and Los Angeles outfielder Mike Trout. Perez led all players with nearly 4.97 million votes.
San Francisco catcher Buster Posey was elected in the NL along with New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and Washington outfielder Bryce Harper.
Five Baltimore players were picked for the AL roster. Beyond Machado, catcher Matt Wieters and outfielder Mark Trumbo are among the reserves, and Brad Brach and Zach Britton are on the pitching staff.
Arrieta is among five first-time All-Stars on the NL pitching staff, joined by New York's Noah Syndergaard and Jeurys Familia, the Los Angeles Dodgers' Kenley Jansen and Miami's A.J. Ramos. Other NL pitchers include Washington's Stephen Strasburg, the Giants' Madison Bumgarner, the Marlins' Jose Fernandez and Atlanta's Julio Teheran. Washington's Max Scherzer was bypassed.
Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances of the New York Yankees were picked for the AL bullpen but teammate Aroldis Chapman was left off after missing the first 29 games of the season while serving a domestic violence suspension.
Miller and Wright are among seven first-time All-Stars on the AL pitching staff, joined by Brach, Tampa Bay's Alex Colome, Toronto's Marco Estrada, Brach, Houston's Will Harris and Cleveland's Danny Salazar. Other AL pitchers include Chicago's Chris Sale and Texas' Cole Hamels.
The result of the game determines whether the AL or NL team in the World Series has home-field advantage.
AP Sports Writers Andrew Seligman and Beth Harris contributed to this report.