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Maddon: Rizzo's 'got to be' an NL All-Star

Cubs first baseman hit third homer of series in Sunday's victory over Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt may have more home runs and RBIs, and the Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez has a ton of fan support, but manager Joe Maddon would pick the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo as the National League's top first baseman for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Rizzo and other #ASGWorthy players

Rizzo belted his 15th home run leading off the fifth, his third of the three-game Interleague series, to spark the Cubs to an 8-0 victory Sunday over the Twins. He connected on an 0-1 pitch from starter Kyle Gibson.

"The guy's got to be on the All-Star team," Maddon said of Rizzo. "Let him play shortstop, I don't care. He's got to be on the All-Star team, he's had that kind of first half.

"It's remarkable to watch him every day. I know there are other really good first basemen and it's probably the most loaded position there is, but what he's done is remarkable. I've not seen it in person."


"I don't know about shortstop," said Rizzo, who was elected to the All-Star team last year through the Final Vote. "It's somewhere I'd love to be, Cincinnati, at the All-Star Game. Stuff like that is out of your control. We have to focus on winning games here."

Rizzo now has eight hits in his past 20 at-bats, with four homers and six RBIs. Prior to this spurt, Rizzo was 0-for-20.

His three blasts against the Twins were the most in a three-game series by a Cubs player since Javier Baez belted three against the Rockies last Aug. 5-7. Rizzo is ranked among the NL leaders in several offensive categories, including batting average (.309) and on-base percentage (.420).

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.
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