Sale, Scherzer to start All-Star Game for second straight year

Chris Sale is set to start his third consecutive All-Star Game. (Reuters pic)

BOSTON: For the second year in a row, Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox and Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals will be the starting pitchers in the All-Star Game, the managers announced on Monday.

American League manager AJ Hinch of the Houston Astros selected Sale to start Tuesday’s game. This will be the third consecutive start for the left-hander, who joins Lefty Gomez (American League, 1933-35) and Robin Roberts (National League, 1953-55) as the only pitchers to start three All-Star games in a row.

Sale is 10-4 so far this season with a 2.23 ERA. The 29-year-old has started 20 games and struck out a league-high 188 batters in 129 innings.

“Obviously, I appreciate it. It’s a big honour,” Sale told the media of earning another start. “I know this hasn’t happened very often in a long time. I appreciate it. I’m going to try and have some fun with it. That’s why we’re all here, too. Grip and rip, and try to get a win.”

Scherzer, 33, will start for the National League squad, managed by the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts, in his home ballpark. The Nationals’ right-hander is 12-5 in 20 starts on the year. His 182 strikeouts and 134 2/3 innings lead the NL.

He becomes the 12th pitcher to start an All-Star Game on his home field. The last one time that occurred was 2013, when former New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey started the game at Citi Field.

The game takes place at 8pm local time on Tuesday.