Orioles have league-high 3 starters

Updated: July 7, 2014, 12:55 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The fans have spoken, and they've said they don't care about performance-enhancing drug scandals.

A year removed from a 50-game suspension following the Biogenesis investigation, Baltimore Orioles slugger Nelson Cruz has been voted to this year's All-Star Game.

Cruz, who is tied for the major league lead with 27 home runs, is one of three Orioles elected to the Midsummer Classic, being held this year at Minnesota's Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.

Baltimore, which leads the AL East, also leads all teams with its three selections -- Cruz, catcher Matt Wieters and center fielder Adam Jones. Wieters will not participate, however, as he is out for the season following Tommy John surgery.

"It's always a blessing when you make the All-Star Game," Cruz said. "I'm happy because I know I made the right decision [to sign in Baltimore]."

The American League team also features the players many consider to be the top two in the whole sport in Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera.

However, it's Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista who is the leading vote-getter among all players with 5.6 million ballots cast in his favor.

The AL team will also reunite Robinson Cano, now of the Seattle Mariners, with his former double-play partner Derek Jeter. The New York Yankees captain will be making his final All-Star appearance.

Last year it was another Yankee whose pending retirement made him the star of the All-Star Game, but Jeter says that might not be the exact same case this time around.

"All-Star game was in New York (Citi Field) last year. It's a little bit different," Jeter said. "I don't go into it with any expectations. Just trying to enjoy myself and have fun with whoever is here."

Josh Donaldson will represent the best team in baseball, the Oakland Athletics, for his first All-Star appearance. The A's lead all teams in total All-Star selections with six: Donaldson, catcher Derek Norris, first baseman Brandon Moss, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and pitchers Scott Kazmir and Sean Doolittle.

"It's really cool," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We were hoping for something like this."

Newly acquired pitcher Jeff Samardzija was voted to the NL roster, but being traded from the Chicago Cubs to the A's means he is ineligible to play.

"I won't get to pitch, which is a bummer, but that's all right," Samardzija said. "I'll just go through whatever ceremonies they have and just jump over to the AL dugout with an NL jersey on and have some fun with the six other dudes we have over there, which is exciting."

The National League squad will be led by Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who earned an NL-best 5.3 million votes and, along with Bautista, will serve as a team captain for the Gillette Home Run Derby, which will be aired live on ESPN on Monday, July 14 at 8 p.m.

The Milwaukee Brewers join the Orioles as the only teams with multiple elected All-Star starters. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez and outfielder Carlos Gomez will represent the NL Central leaders.

Both the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals are looking up at the Brewers in the division standings, but each will have a player joining Ramirez and Gomez in Minnesota.

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina will be making his sixth All-Star appearance, while reigning NL MVP Andrew McCutchen will be making his fourth appearance, but his first start.

Also making his first start (and his first appearance) will be Los Angeles Dodgers spark plug Yasiel Puig.

Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley were elected to the NL team despite disappointing first halves out of their respective teams.

The All-Star pitchers for each league were also named. Here are the possible starters that managers John Farrell and Mike Matheny will have to choose from.

AL: Yu Darvish (Rangers), Max Scherzer (Tigers), Felix Hernandez (Mariners), Masahiro Tanaka (Yankees), Jon Lester (Red Sox), David Price (Rays), Scott Kazmir (Oakland) and Mark Buehrle (Blue Jays)

NL: Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers), Zack Greinke (Dodgers), Johnny Cueto (Reds), Madison Bumgarner (Giants), Adam Wainwright (Cardinals), Tyson Ross (Padres), Jordan Zimmermann (Nationals) and Julio Teheran (Braves), who is replacing the ineligible Samardzija.

Kershaw (10-2), who has a 1.85 ERA and carries a streak of 36 innings without allowing a run into his next start, said he'd be thrilled to start in the All-Star Game.

"Yeah sure, I'd love to do it," Kershaw said Sunday following the Dodgers' 8-2 victory over Colorado.

The candidates for the AL and NL Final Vote, which is also determined by fans, are as follows:

AL: Dallas Keuchel (Astros), Corey Kluber (Indians), Garrett Richards (Angels), Rick Porcello (Tigers) Chris Sale (White Sox)

NL: Justin Morneau (Rockies), Anthony Rizzo (Cubs), Anthony Rendon (Nationals), Casey McGehee (Marlins), Justin Upton (Braves)

The Associated Press and ESPNLosAngeles.com stringer Brent W. New contributed to this report.

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