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Former Senators Papelbon and Saunders Make All-Star Team
The Angels' Joe Saunders throws a pitch during a 7-4 victory over Oakland Wednesday at Angel Stadium, his league-leading 12th win of the season. Saunders has been selected to his first All-Star Game. Players vote in first-timers Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders along with closer Francisco Rodriguez. Outfielder Vladimir Guerrero is not chosen.
By Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
1:10 PM PDT, July 6, 2008 From a winter of uncertainty to the midsummer classic, Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders completed a remarkable transformation today when the Angels pitchers were selected to the American League All-Star team.
Santana and Saunders were expected to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation after the Angels acquired veteran right-hander Jon Garland from the White Sox in November.
But an injury to Kelvim Escobar, sidelined all season by a shoulder tear, assured both pitchers of making the opening-day rotation, and both have enjoyed breakout seasons.
Saunders, who shuttled between Anaheim and triple-A Salt Lake in 2006 and 2007, is 12-4 with a 3.04 earned run average in 17 starts and has held opponents to a .239 average. The left-hander is tied with Arizona's Brandon Webb for the major league lead in wins.
"You look at his record, what he's done, it's great to have him recognized," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "Through his experience, he's become comfortable with what he needs to do to get hitters out, and he's not afraid of contact." The Red Sox's seven are Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Jonathan Papelbon, Jason Varitek and J.D Drew. It will be the fifth time that the Red Sox have had at least seven players selected to the All-Star Team. The seven All-Star selections for the Cubs and Red Sox are the most for a team since seven White Sox were chosen for the 2006 game at Pittsburgh's PNC Park.