AL’s Chris Sale, NL’s Max Scherzer to start all-star game
— Chris Sale will become the first pitcher to make consecutive Major League Baseball all-star starts representing different teams.
The Boston Red Sox ace will start Tuesday night’s game for the American League, and Washington’s Max Scherzer will open for the National League.
Then with the Chicago White Sox, Sale pitched the first inning of last year’s game at San Diego and allowed a two-out home run to Kris Bryant. Sale was traded in December for top prospects. Sale will be the 16th pitcher to make consecutive all-star starts, the first since Arizona’s Randy Johnson in 200001 and the first in the AL since Toronto’s Dave Stieb in 1983-84.
Born in Lakeland, which is about 385 kilometres northwest of Miami, Sale is 11-4 with a 2.75 ERA and a major-league-leading 178 strikeouts in 127 2/3 innings.
Scherzer also will be making his second all-star start. Then with Detroit, he pitched a perfect inning at New York’s Citi Field in 2013, when Sale followed with a pair of 1-2-3 innings and got the win.
Scherzer will be the fifth pitcher to start all-star games for both leagues, following Vida Blue, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay and Johnson. Scherzer is 10-5 with a 2.10 ERA and 173 strikeouts.
Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, 14-2 with a 2.18 ERA, is ineligible to pitch in the all-star game because he started Sunday.
NL manager Joe Maddon’s batting order has Colorado centrefielder Charlie Blackmon pencilled in to lead off, followed by Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton as the designated hitter. Washington right-fielder Bryce Harper is third, followed by San Francisco catcher Buster Posey, Washington second baseman Daniel Murphy, Colorardo third baseman Nolan Arenado, Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, Miami left-fielder Marcell Ozuna and Cincinnati shortstop Zack Cozart.
AL manager Brad Mills hits Houston second baseman Jose Altuve leadoff. This is followed by Cleveland third baseman Jose Ramirez, New York Yankees rightfielder Aaron Judge, Houston’s George Springer in left, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, Toronto first baseman Justin Smoak, Tampa Bay designated hitter Corey Dickerson, Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez and Boston’s Mookie Betts in centre.
Mills, Cleveland’s bench coach, took over as AL manager after Indians manager Terry Francona had a procedure last week to correct an irregular heartbeat.
American Leaguer Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox, left, poses Monday with National Leaguer Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals.