Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Mariners' Cruz headed to fifth All-Star Game

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

ANAHEIM -- Nelson Cruz, who has hit more home runs than any other player in the Majors since 2014, was selected for his fifth All-Star Game on Sunday and will be a reserve on the American League team at the July 11 Midsummer Classic in Miami.

Cruz didn't win the fan voting at designated hitter, as the Rays' Corey Dickerson came from behind in the final week to grab that honor for the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. But the 37-year-old was elected to the team and will be the Mariners' lone representative unless someone else gets added as an injury replacement in the coming days.

ANAHEIM -- Nelson Cruz, who has hit more home runs than any other player in the Majors since 2014, was selected for his fifth All-Star Game on Sunday and will be a reserve on the American League team at the July 11 Midsummer Classic in Miami.

Cruz didn't win the fan voting at designated hitter, as the Rays' Corey Dickerson came from behind in the final week to grab that honor for the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. But the 37-year-old was elected to the team and will be the Mariners' lone representative unless someone else gets added as an injury replacement in the coming days.

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

"It's always exciting," Cruz said. "I have to thank the fans, the Mariners, the organization. They all pulled for that. So thanks to everybody for the effort. It never gets old. You're always excited to be part of that."

The news was a welcome diversion for Cruz on a day he was sidelined by a sore knee that could keep him out of the Mariners lineup for a couple games. But Cruz still came into the day ranked second in the AL in RBIs with 59 while posting a .287/.370/.502 line with 14 home runs in 78 games.

"He's obviously had a huge first half," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "I know he cooled off with the home run ball the last couple weeks, but having him in our lineup -- we've seen when he's not in there -- we're a much different team.

"And it's more than just the numbers. Even though he's not on the field playing every game [as a DH], he's into the game. He's not just worried about his at-bats and his numbers and the other players feel it. His leadership goes a long way on our club."

Cruz was also an All-Star in 2009 and '13 with the Rangers, in '14 with the Orioles and in '15 in his first year in Seattle. He's yet to get a hit in the Midsummer Classic, going 0-for-5 with a walk and two strikeouts.

Cruz was voted in by fans as the starting DH in 2014 and '15 and seemed poised to do so again until Dickerson's late run. Dickerson is hitting .321 with 17 homers and 40 RBIs.

"I guess the fans wanted him more than me, so that's the way I see it," Cruz said. "He's got great numbers and I'm just happy to be part of it."

Despite his slugging prowess, Cruz won't take part in the Home Run Derby. He finished second to Prince Fielder in that event in 2009, but has since declined to participate.

"I know the fans want to see homers," he said. "I did it once and the experience was a great event for the players and fans. But once you go once, you know what it is and you're better [off] to rest and prepare for the second half."

Fans can cast ballots for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile devices until 1 p.m. PT on Thursday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will then be announced during "MLB Tonight" live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 3 p.m. Extensive coverage throughout the Final Vote will be provided by MLB Network and MLB.com, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns, and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.

Now in its 16th season, with more than 680 million votes cast, the Final Vote again will include social votes on the last day of balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the final six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 7 a.m.-1 p.m. PT on Thursday, 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 11, at 4:30 p.m. PT, tune in to the 2017 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 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, 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.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Nelson Cruz