LOS ANGELES: San Francisco Giants flame thrower Johnny Cueto and Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale were named as the starting pitchers for the 2016 Major League Baseball all-star game in San Diego.
Left hander Sale and righty Cueto are the lone hurlers with more than 12 wins this season, making them the top choices to start Tuesday’s (Wednesday in Manila) showdown for their respective leagues at Petco Park.
“For me, it was a real easy choice,” American League manager Ned Yost of the Kansas City Royals said. “Chris being in my division, I’ve had a chance to watch him really develop into a superstar pitcher.”
Sale has 14 wins, three losses and a 3.38 earned run average, while Cueto is 13-1 with a 2.47 ERA so far this season.
The 27-year-old Sale has 123 strikeouts in 125 innings heading into his fifth all-star appearance while Sale has struck out 113 in 131 innings this season.
The 30-year-old Cueto is slated to pitch in the Midsummer Classic for the first time and deserves the honor, said National League manager Terry Collins.
“This guy has pitched the best in this first half of the season,” Collins said. “And he deserves this opportunity for what he did – and for what he did to us in the World Series last year.”
Meanwhile, Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton routed defending champ Todd Frazier 20-13 in the championship round to win the home run derby on Monday (Tuesday in Manila).
Stanton finished with an event-record 61 homers over three rounds in the featured preliminary to the all-star game.
“See this bad boy? That’s why I came here and I’m taking it with me,” Stanton said as he lifted up the trophy.
Thirty-nine of Stanton’s shots topped 440 feet. His longest blast was 497 feet in the first round.
Stanton, who is not a member of the National League all-star team, defeated Baltimore Orioles outfielder Mark Trumbo, 17-13, in the semi-finals after routing former champion Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners, 24-7, in the opening round.
“It was a great time I had a blast,” he said. “Both teams helped me out. I tried to just have fun, enjoy the moment and enjoy the west coast.”