Norwalk Reflector: Indians sending five to the All-Star Game

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Indians sending five to the All-Star Game

By PAUL HOYNES • Jul 9, 2018 at 4:23 PM

CLEVELAND — Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez is an All-Star starter for the second year. And he won't be lonely.

He'll be joined at the MidSummer Classic by four of his teammates — outfielder Michael Brantley, shortstop Francisco Lindor and right-handers Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer. This is the second straight year the Indians will be sending five players to the All-Star Game.

Ramirez was voted to the AL's starting lineup for the second straight year. He won the third balloting with 2,531,120 votes.

The last Indians players voted into the starting lineup for two straight All-Star Games were outfielder Manny Ramirez and second baseman Roberto Alomar in 1999 and 2000.

This year's game will be played at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Ramirez entered Sunday's game against Oakland hitting .293 (96-for-328) with 25 doubles, 24 homers and 59 RBI. He's scored 60 runs and stole 19 bases in 21 attempts.

The switch-hitting Ramirez entered Sunday's game hitting .298 (28-for-94) against left and .291 (68-for-234) against righties. Ramirez ranks fourth in the AL in homers. Lindor and he are the first two teammates to have 50 extra base hits before the All-Star break in club history.

"Really, just to enjoy the experience," Ramirez said about his second trip to the All-Star Game. "It's a great life experience to be able to be there with your family. Everything that they put on there, all the events and the interactions with the fans and everything like that, it's a great event. So, I give thanks to God that I'm able to be there again."

The last Indians third baseman to go to consecutive All-Star Games was Al Rosen in 1953 and 1954.

This will be Brantley's third All-Star Game and second straight. He is hitting .306 with 23 doubles, 11 homers and 49 RBI. In a first half which has seen the Indians go through numerous outfield combinations because of injuries, Brantley has been a consistent force, appearing in his 77th game on Sunday.

Brantley, over the 2016 and 2017 seasons, played just 101 games because of injuries. Brantley was selected by his peers.

In July, Brantley is hitting .346 (9-for-26) with five RBI in six games.

Lindor will be attending his third straight AL All-Star Game. The switch-hitter entered Sunday hitting .301 (107-for-355) with 27 doubles, 23 homers and 56 RBI. Through 86 games, he leads the big leagues with 79 runs.

He leads AL shortstops in homers and is tied with Ramirez for the league lead with 50 extra base hits. He's also tied for the league lead with 37 multi-hit games. Lindor was selected by his peers.

Over Lindor's last eight games, he's hitting .438 (14-for-32) with 12 RBI. He was AL Player of the Month in May when he hit .373 with 10 homers and 23 RBI.

Kluber is headed to his third straight All-Star Game. He was elected by his peers.

The two-time Cy Young winner is having another strong season, going 12-4 with a 2.49 ERA in 19 starts. Kluber leads the AL in innings pitched with 126 1/3 and is tied for second in wins. He ranks first in day-time ERA at 1.71 and second in home ERA at 1.43.

Opponents are batting just .207 against him, eighth lowest batting average against in the league.

Kluber did not pitch in last year's All-Star Game in Miami, but he was the winning pitcher for the AL in 2016 when the game was held in San Diego.

Bauer will be going to his first All-Star Game. He was selected by the Commissioner's office to replace Justin Velander, who will not pitch in the All-Star Game.

He's 8-6 with a 2.45 ERA in 18 starts. He ranks third in the AL with 156 strikeouts, fifth in ERA and fifth in innings pitched at 121 1/3. The opposition is hitting .211 against him.

Bauer ranks third in the big leagues with 1,967 pitches behind Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Bauer has thrown more than 100 pitches in every one of his starts, but he's walked only 37 batters. The American League named Bauer to the All-Star team because Verlander is not going to pitch.

"I'm extremely excited for it," Bauer said. "You watch the game growing up. I watched every year. You tune in for the Home Run Derby and see the best of the best guys. I remember watching Torii Hunter rob Barry Bonds and Pedro Martinez punchout out six guys in a row. Moments like that, from growing up, are kind of iconic baseball moments for me and a lot of other people."

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