SEATTLE, Wash - Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has earned his seventh consecutive All-Star game appearance and closing pitcher J-J Putz got his first. Major League Baseball announced the All-Star teams today.
Suzuki, who has been an All-Star in every one of his major league seasons, edged Boston's Manny Ramirez in fan voting by about 200-thousand votes. He will start in the game on July 10th in San Francisco. Suzuki, a Gold Glove winner, is three behind Ken Griffey Junior as Seattle's franchise leader in consecutive All-Star selections. Griffey went 10 consecutive times while with the Mariners from 1990 to 1999.
Putz, in his first full season as closer, has converted 25 consecutive save opportunities, a major-league best and two away from the club record of the man he replaced last year, Eddie Guardado. Putz's E-R-A is zero-point-92 -- second lowest in the American League among pitchers who have appeared in at least 18 games. Putz is already third in Mariners history with 69 career saves.