Miami — Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale will become the first pitcher to make consecutive All-Star starts representing different teams.
Sale will start Tuesday’s game for the American League, and former Tiger Max Scherzer of the Nationals will open for the National League.
Then with the White Sox, Sale pitched the first inning of last year’s game at San Diego and allowed a two-out home run to Kris Bryant. Sale was traded in December for top prospects.
Sale will be the 16th pitcher to make consecutive All-Star starts, the first since Arizona’s Randy Johnson in 2000-01 and the first in the AL since Toronto’s Dave Stieb in 1983-84. Born in Lakeland, which is about 240 miles northwest of Miami, Sale is 11-4 with a 2.75 ERA and a major league-leading 178 strikeouts in 127 2/3 innings.
“All my family lives here. Brothers, sisters, in-laws, parents, even my aunts and uncles and cousins,” Sale said. “So to be able to be here not too far from where I live now is nice. I can have my family, extended family come down and experience this with me.”
“At the end of the day this is something I’ll never forget,” he said. “This is something I’ll be hopefully sitting in a rocking chair when I’m 80 years old telling my grandkids and great-grandkids and things like that.”
Scherzer also will be making his second All-Star start. Then with Detroit, he pitched a perfect inning at New York’s Citi Field in 2013, when Sale followed with a pair of 1-2-3 innings and got the win. Scherzer will be the fifth pitcher to start All-Star Games for both leagues, following Vida Blue, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay and Johnson. Scherzer is 10-5 with a 2.10 ERA and 173 strikeouts.
Sale and Scherzer took turns complimenting each other at Monday’s announcement of the All-Star lineups.
“I love the way Chris goes out and competes. … He’ll do anything to win. He makes big-time pitches all the way — even if he takes 120 pitches. By far he’s been one of my favorite players, pitchers to watch. It’s even better to compete against him,” Scherzer said.
Sale echoed that sentiment.
“I could almost say the same thing. I don’t know if I’ve seen a guy compete as hard as he competes day in and day out,” Sale said.
“The fire, the intensity, the role model he can be for kids coming up to kind of take the bull by the horns and just compete. It’s fun.”
Long before they turned pro, Sale and Scherzer both played for the La Crosse Loggers in a summer league in Wisconsin.
They were there a couple years apart.
“So that’s pretty interesting too. We’ve had some ties for a while and played against each other for a while, too,” Sale said.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, 14-2 with a 2.18 ERA, is ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game because he started Sunday.
NL manager Joe Maddon’s batting order has Colorado center fielder Charlie Blackmon leading off, followed by Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton as the designated hitter. Washington right fielder Bryce Harper is third, followed by San Francisco catcher Buster Posey, Washington second baseman Daniel Murphy, Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado, Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, Miami left fielder Marcell Ozuna and Cincinnati shortstop Zack Cozart.
Maddon said it was a “pretty easy decision” to slot Stanton as the DH.
“Looking at the breakdown of the team positionally, I thought to draw a DH out of the outfield was smart, or possibly a first baseman, having three outstanding first baseman,” Maddon said.
“And furthermore playing here under the circumstances I thought it was the right thing to do.”
When: Tonight, 7:30
Where: Marlins Park Miami
Tigers: Outfielder Justin Upton is the Tigers’ lone representative. Starting pitcher Michael Fulmer was selected to the team but will not participate because he pitched for the Tigers Sunday night.
1. Jose Altuve, Houston, 2B
2. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland, 3B
3. Aaron Judge, New York, RF
4. George Springer, Houston, LF
5. Carlos Correa, Houston, SS
6. Justin Smoak, Toronto, 1B
7. Corey Dickerson, Tampa Bay, DH
8. Salvador Perez, Kansas City, C
9. Mookie Betts, Boston, CF
Chris Sale, Boston, P
1. Charlie Blackmon, Colorado, CF
2. Giancarlo Stanton, Miami, DH
3. Bryce Harper, Washington, RF
4. Buster Posey, San Francisco, C
5. Daniel Murphy, Washington, 2B
6. Nolan Arenado, Colorado, 3B
7. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington, 1B
8. Marcell Ozuna, Miami, LF
9. Zack Cozart, Cincinnati, SS
Max Scherzer, Washington, P