Ohtani again All-Star at 2; 6 Yankees, 5 Braves, Astros

NEW YORK (AP) — In a city of stars, Shohei Ohtani of the Angels and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers will be in the spotlight on July 19 at Dodger Stadium.

“I think it’s been a few years since I’ve been to an All-Star Game, and something about Dodger Stadium is special as well,” Kershaw said after the pitching and reserve announcements on Sunday. “I don’t take that for granted. Like I said before, I hope I didn’t take the place of someone more deserving than me, but now that it’s official and I can do it, I’m very excited about this. topic.

A year after becoming the first two-way All-Star, Ohtani was chosen for the American League pitching staff as a Major League Baseball pick, two days after being voted by fans to start at designated hitter. .

Kershaw, 6-2 with a 2.40 ERA, and pitcher Tony Gonsolin were selected from the host Dodgers, joining starting outfielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Trea Turner. Kershaw was picked by MLB and is a favorite to open on the mound for the NL, which has lost eight straight All-Star Games and 20 of the last 23 played by a decision.

“I’m going to try to take it all in as best I can,” said the 34-year-old left-hander, three-time Cy Young Award winner. “As the years pass, you start to appreciate things a little more, so every time I pitch at Dodger Stadium, every time we get a win, every time something big happens, I try to take a little more now.”

Pitchers Clay Holmes, Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes made the Yankees’ AL team with receiver Jose Trevino, giving New York six stars for the first time since 2011. Outfielders Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were voted in for begin.

Defending AL champion Houston has five stars, with pitchers Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez, outfielder Kyle Tucker and designated hitter Yordan Álvarez selected with starting second baseman Jose Altuve. Álvarez went on the injured list on Sunday due to inflammation in his right hand.

World Series champion Atlanta also has five. Pitcher Max Fried, receiver Travis d’Arnaud, shortstop Dansby Swanson and DH William Contreras joined outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., who was elected by the fans.

Contreras will be the NL DH in place of Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper, who was elected to start but broke his left thumb on June 25.

Contreras joins Chicago Cubs wide receiver Willson Contreras as the first brothers in the same All-Star Game since Aaron and Bret Boone in 2003. They will be only the fifth brothers to start in an All-Star Game after Mort and Walker Cooper in 1942 and ’43, Dixie and Harry Walker in 1947, Joe and Dom DiMaggio in 1949, and Roberto and Sandy Alomar Jr. in 1992.

The New York, St. Louis and Toronto Mets have four stars.

Seattle outfielder Julio Rodríguez was the only rookie chosen and at 21 is the youngest of this year’s All-Stars. There are 30 first-time All-Stars and Rodríguez, who made his debut on April 8, is among 10 aged 24 or younger.

Ohtani, the reigning AL MVP, is hitting .260 with 19 home runs and 59 RBIs and is 8-4 with a 2.44 ERA, 111 strikeouts and 20 walks in 81 innings. He’s won five straight starts and is coming off a Wednesday outing in Miami when he became the first player in major league history to strike out 10, drive in two runs and steal a base.

In last year’s AL 5-2 win at Colorado, Ohtani pitched a 1-2-3 first inning as he retired Fernando Tatis Jr., Max Muncy and Nolan Arenado, and retired twice.

Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera is the senior star player with 12 picks and St. Louis DH Albert Pujols is second with 11, both baseball commissioner Rob Manfred’s picks under a career achievement provision in the new collective agreement.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is next with 10, followed by Kershaw and Verlander with nine apiece. The trout was picked for the ninth time in a row.

Player-elected AL pitchers included Emmanuel Clase of Cleveland, Jorge López of Baltimore, Alek Manoah of Toronto and Shane McClanahan of Tampa Bay, as well as Cole, Cortes, Holmes and Verlander.

The NL pitchers chosen by the players were Sandy Alcantara of Miami, Corbin Burnes and Josh Hader of Milwaukee, Edwin Díaz of the Mets, Ryan Helsley of St. Louis and Joe Musgrove of San Diego as well as Fried and Gonsolin.

The AL position players chosen by their colleagues were Minnesota infielder Luis Arraez, Cleveland second baseman Andrés Giménez and third baseman José Ramírez, Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts and outfielders Byron Buxton of Minnesota and George Springer of Toronto with Alvarez, Trevino and Tucker.

Player-selected NL backups were Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, second baseman Jeff McNeil and outfielder Starling Marte, St. Louis third baseman Nolan Arenado and outfielders Kyle Schwarber of Philadelphia and Ian Happ of the Chicago Cubs with d’Arnaud, William Contreras and Swanson.

MLB has called up seven players from the AL, with Ohtani, Rodríguez and Valdez joined by pitchers Paul Blackburn from Oakland, Gregory Soto from Detroit and Martín Pérez from Texas as well as Kansas City outfielder Andrew Benintendi.

MLB NL picks included Pittsburgh’s David Bednar, Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo, Arizona’s Joe Mantiply and Kershaw for the pitching staff, as well as Colorado first baseman CJ Cron and Washington outfielder Juan Soto .

At least one player must be included among the 30 teams. Twenty-eight All-Stars were born outside of the 50 states.

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AP Sports Writer Greg Beacham in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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