SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KTVU/AP)
San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto was named the National League starter for the MLB All-Star game Tuesday night in San Diego. Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox will start for the American League.
Cueto, a 30-year-old right-hander who left Kansas City to sign with the Giants last offseason, tops NL pitchers in victories. He is 13-1 with a 2.47 ERA, striking out 115 in 131 1/3 innings. He has won 10 consecutive decisions since an April 21 loss to Arizona.
His path to the starting nod became clearer when Clayton Kershaw and Noah Syndergaard got hurt, Stephen Strasburg pulled out of the game because of a recent disabled list stint and Madison Bumgarner was ruled out because he started Sunday.
"I was just happy to be participating in the game," Cueto said through a translator. "But I'm very happy."
Cueto impressed New York Mets manager Terry Collins with a two-hitter for Kansas City in Game 2 of last year's World Series, the first complete game by an AL pitcher in the Series since Jack Morris in 1991.
"That was the best outing I've ever seen him have," Collins said.
When Cueto takes the mound Tuesday he will be the 4th Giants since 2003 to start the game, and first since Matt Cain in 2012. Tim Lincecum (2009) and Jason Schmidt (2003) also started for the N.L. in the Midsummer Classic.
Buster Posey will catch Cueto to open the game and first baseman Brandon Belt was also named to the team for the first time in his career.