All-Star Game starting pitchers named; Cozart to bat 9th for NL
MIAMI (AP/WKRC) - Chris Sale will become the first pitcher to make consecutive All-Star starts representing different teams and depending on how long he lasts Reds shortstop Zack Cozart may not have to face him.
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.
Cozart has been penciled into the No. 9 spot in the National League batting order so it's a possibility he won't face Sale who likely won't pitch more than two innings.
Sale pitched the first inning of last year's game at San Diego as a member of the Chicago White Sox 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 2000-01 and the first in the AL since Toronto's Dave Stieb in 1983-84.
Born in Lakeland, Fla., which is about 240 miles 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 center fielder Charlie Blackmon leading 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 then Cozart.
Reds first baseman Joey Votto is a reserve for the National League.
AL manager Brad Mills hits Houston second baseman Jose Altuve leadoff, followed by Cleveland third baseman Jose Ramirez, New York Yankees right fielder 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 center.
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.