ST. PETERSBURG -- Alex Colome is headed to San Diego as a member of the American League All-Star team.
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The Rays right-hander, who was reinstated off the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday (right medial biceps tendinitis), has 19 saves and pitched a scoreless eighth Tuesday night in a 13-5 Rays loss to the Angels. He hasn't allowed a run in his 19 save chances. Only two pitchers in the Major Leagues have as many saves without a blown save.
Colome learned of his selection prior to Tuesday night's Rays-Angels game at Tropicana Field when manager Kevin Cash called him into his office. Fearing the worst, Colome told Cash, "I don't like to be here in the office. I don't do nothing bad."
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That's when Cash offered Colome congratulations.
"I feel excited," Colome said. "Like happy. Not too many guys make the team. ... This is my second year in the big leagues and I have the opportunity to be in the All-Star Game."
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After transitioning to the bullpen during last season, Colome arrived to camp this season expecting to be the setup man for Brad Boxberger, the team's incumbent closer and the 2015 AL saves leader. But Boxberger started the season on the disabled list and Colome was thrust into closing duties.
When Boxberger returned from the DL on May 30, Colome was expected to relinquish his role. Instead, Boxberger suffered a left oblique injury in his first outing back and returned to the DL, leaving Colome in the closing role.
Colome's success continued.
He set a club record for most successful save opportunities to start a season by going 19-for-19, which is the longest streak for any part of the season since Fernando Rodney converted a club-record 22 straight from May 27-Aug. 13, 2012.
"He's as calm as any closer I've seen throughout the course of the year handling situations," Cash said. "There's some situations this year that he put himself into jams, there's some where we helped him, not making plays, and nothing seems to alter him on the mound. He's continued to go out and execute pitches and have really good results."
Colome hopes to be joined in San Diego by Evan Longoria, who is a candidate for the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote.
Fans can vote for the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote until 4 p.m. ET on Friday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will be announced during a Final Vote-themed telecast of "MLB Now" featuring commentary from political analyst Jeff Greenfield, live on MLB Network and MLB.com from 4-5 p.m. ET. MLB Network will provide extensive coverage across all of its studio programming during the Final Vote, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating the cities where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.
Baseball fans have cast nearly 600 million online votes for Final Vote candidates since the program's inception in 2002. In addition to MLB.com and the official club websites, fans can use their mobile devices to cast votes at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, fans can text their choice to 89269. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Final Vote will include social balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET on Friday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.
On Tuesday, July 12, watch the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2016 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 87th All-Star Game, in San Diego, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.