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Mauer to represent Twins in fifth All-Star Game

MINNEAPOLIS -- After a one-year hiatus, Twins catcher Joe Mauer is an All-Star for the fifth time in his career.

Mauer was selected to represent the Twins and the American League in the 2012 All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium on July 10, as announced on the MLB All-Star Selection Show presented by Taco Bell on Sunday. He was selected by AL manager Ron Washington.

After an injury-plagued 2011 season, Mauer has returned to form this season. He leads all AL catchers with a .324 batting average, 83 hits, 17 doubles and 38 runs scored. His .414 on-base percentage also leads all players in the Junior Circuit.

"Any time you get asked to go to an All-Star game, it's a great honor," Mauer said. "Obviously after the season we had last year, the season I had last year, it's nice to go. It just kind of hit me that I'll be heading there."

Mauer had a huge June, hitting .397 with a .438 on-base percentage and .548 slugging percentage in 20 games to help his case.

Mauer has managed to stay on the field this season after playing in just 82 games last year because of various injuries. The backstop has played in 70 of the Twins' 78 games this year.

"He's always very deserving," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Always hitting about .330 or somewhere. He's had some times where he's missed some games, but he's played an awful lot this year. To be recognized like that is always a nice thing. He deserves it. He's one of the best catchers in the American League, if not the best catcher in the league both offensively and defensively." Mauer is now a five-time All-Star who was voted in as a starter from 2008-10. He was also the leading vote-getter in the Majors in '10.

"Going to a few of them I kind of know what to expect," Mauer said. "I'm sure Kansas City will put on a great show. Usually those kind of markets do. But I'm excited. Kansas City is a great baseball town and I think it'll be fun."

With Mauer being selected as the club's lone All-Star, it marks the second straight year the club has had just one player on the squad. Michael Cuddyer was the lone representative last year while Justin Morneau and Mauer both represented the Twins in '10.

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 6:30 p.m. CT. 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

Twins outfielder Josh Willingham was the club's biggest snub. Among AL outfielders, he ranks third in RBIs (55), fourth in OPS (.918) and seventh in homers (17).

Mauer also named outfielder Denard Span and relievers Jared Burton and Glen Perkins as teammates worthy of consideration.

"I was hoping to bring a couple with me," Mauer said. "We have a lot of guys having great years that are definitely deserving. Wilingham, Perkins and Burton I definitely think could be there, too, and Denard. There's a lot of guys that are deserving."

Minnesota Twins, Joe Mauer