The Indians are going to Washington.
A whole bunch of them.
Five Cleveland players were selected for the All-Star Game to be played July 17 at Nationals Park, tying with the Red Sox and Astros for most in the majors. It’s the second straight year the Indians had five players chosen.
Third baseman Jose Ramirez will start for the American League after winning the fan selection with 2,521,120 votes. He’ll be the first Indians third baseman to start two straight All-Star Games since Al Rosen in 1953-54.
He’ll be joined by pitchers Corey Kluber, who could be chosen to start the game, and Trevor Bauer, shortstop Francisco Lindor and left fielder Michael Brantley. The Indians hadn’t had at least five All-Stars in consecutive years since 1998-99, but they have a star-studded lineup and appear headed to the postseason for the third straight year, leading the AL Central by 9 1⁄2 games.
“I’m happy,” Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters Sunday. “I’m thrilled for our guys and I’m also happy for the Indians. I think it shows that, whether it’s fans or other players or whatever it is, respect for our players, I’m thrilled for that.”
Kluber, Brantley and Lindor were picked through player voting. Bauer was added by the commissioner’s office.
Ramirez became the first Indians player to be voted as an All-Star starter in consecutive seasons since Roberto Alomar and Manny Ramirez in 1999-2000. He’s hitting .292 with 24 home runs, 25 doubles, 59 RBIs, 60 runs scored and 19 stolen bases.
Lindor is an All-Star for the third time. He’s hitting .298 with 23 homers, 27 doubles, 56 RBIs, an MLB-best 79 runs and 12 stolen bases.
“I’m really proud of it. I’m really proud of Frankie,” Ramirez said. “I’m really happy for him and for his family. Everyone who’s been watching us over the past couple years knows that we came up together since A ball. And so I’m really happy for him and that God has blessed us with this opportunity to go there together.”
Kluber, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, leads the AL in innings pitched (126 1/3) and is 12-4 with a 2.49 ERA. Bauer has a 2.45 ERA with 156 strikeouts in 121 1/3 innings. Kluber was picked for the third straight year, and Bauer for the first time.
Brantley is also a three-time All-Star, overcoming a series of injuries over the last couple of years. He’s hitting .306 with 11 home runs, 23 doubles, 49 RBIs and 47 runs.
“For Brant, all that he’s been through,” Francona said, “I grabbed him and I told him, ‘Take a minute and enjoy this,’ because he put a lot of work in.”
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