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Kemp, Kershaw on NL All-Star team

LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw will represent the Dodgers at this year's All-Star Game, to be played on July 10 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. It is the second All-Star selection for both.

The announcements were made Sunday on the MLB All-Star Selection Show presented by Taco Bell.

The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies begin at 4:30 p.m. PT. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.

Fans will also have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012 All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on

The 27-year-old Kemp, the leading vote-getter in the NL until last week, edged Milwaukee's Ryan Braun in fan balloting for the third starting outfielder spot, although Kemp is not expected to play in the game because he's on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring and not expected back until after the All-Star break.

"I don't think I'm going to play in it," Kemp said on Sunday. "I'm going to go enjoy the festivities and all the All-Star Game has to bring, but I'm going to get healthy and get ready for this second half so we can make that push to make the playoffs."

Kemp is the first Dodgers position player to be voted onto the starting lineup in back-to-back seasons since Mike Piazza in 1996-97. The Dodgers have had outfielders voted into the All-Star Game starting lineup for three consecutive years.

"It feels good," Kemp said of the honor. "It's great to know the fans respect my game and love what I do. If it wasn't for them, I might not be in the position that I am right now. I definitely want to thank them for all the votes and everything they've done."

Kemp is also captain of the NL team for the State Farm Home Run Derby, and has said the leg injury will not stop him from participating in that contest on July 9.

"I'm fine with it," manager Don Mattingly said of Kemp's Home Run Derby participation. "From the beginning, when he got hurt the very first time and it was talked about Matt being [Home Run Derby] captain, I said, 'Doc, what do you think about the HR thing and chances of that?' He said we shouldn't worry at that point. He was good with it."

Kemp said he had invited teammate Andre Ethier to participate in the Home Run Derby, but Ethier won't be able to compete because of a slight oblique strain he suffered Wednesday.

"I had to find a replacement. I wish he could. That would have been exciting," said Kemp. "I think his kids would've enjoyed dad in the Home Run Derby. The kids seem to enjoy it the most. I'm pretty disappointed he can't participate in it. Hopefully next year. I'm going to participate in it. It's just like batting practice. I've been doing that the past three weeks, so I'm ready for that."

Kemp was headed for a repeat of last year's record-breaking season until he was injured. He was named player of the month for April, when he batted .417 with a franchise-record 12 homers and 25 RBIs in 23 games. At the time of his injury, he led the league in just about every offensive category except stolen bases, and was hitting .486 against left-handed pitchers.

But he injured his left hamstring on May 4 in Chicago, missed his first start on May 6 and went on the disabled list on May 14 after trying to play through the injury for a week. He was activated on May 29, only to re-injure the hamstring in the first inning on May 30 while scoring from first base on a double by Ethier and immediately returned to the disabled list.

Kershaw made the team as manager Tony La Russa's choice despite a 5-4 record, in part because he has pitched better than that record shows, and because he's coming off his spectacular Cy Young season of 2011 when he won the pitching Triple Crown. The Dodgers have scored five runs total in his four losses.

"I'm obviously really honored to get to go again," said Kershaw, who improved to 6-4 after striking out nine over seven innings in an 8-3 win over the Mets on Sunday night. "I'm looking forward to it and I'm really excited about it. At the same time, I've got some mixed emotions because we have another guy on this staff that should be there and that's tough to take. [Chris Capuano] has pitched unbelievable and there's no reason why he shouldn't be there, so that's a little tough for me to swallow personally. Nonetheless, I'm super excited to get to go again and I'm looking forward to it."

He's still among league leaders in ERA, strikeouts, innings pitched and opponents' batting average. Of his 17 starts, 12 have been quality starts, including a May 19 shutout of the Cardinals.

"Tony selected him, and for me it's hard to argue with that, because to me he's been great," said Mattingly.

Kershaw will also start Friday night, so he expects to pitch in the All-Star Game. Pitchers who start next Sunday can petition to pitch two days later in the All-Star Game under a fixed pitch count.

Last year, the Dodgers had three All-Stars -- Kemp, Ethier and Kershaw. Kemp was voted into the starting lineup, Kershaw was named on the players' vote and Ethier made the team as an injury replacement.

Ethier, Capuano and A.J. Ellis, each having quality seasons, were not included among the five finalists for the Final Vote spot.

"I wanted to represent the Dodgers and fans here, and that is something I strive for," said Ethier, an All-Star the previous two seasons. "If you consider yourself one of the top players in the league, then it's disappointing when you don't get to go. Sometimes it's not always an indication of how you play. Sometimes it's a fan voting thing, and that is deserving. Fans vote for the players they want to see."

Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw