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Perkins, Suzuki named hometown All-Stars

Closer making second straight appearance; catcher garners first nod

Perkins, Suzuki named hometown All-Stars play video for Perkins, Suzuki named hometown All-Stars

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins are set to host this year's All-Star Game at Target Field on July 15, and they'll be sending two representatives to the Midsummer Classic, including hometown closer Glen Perkins.

Perkins, a native of Stillwater, Minn., is joined by catcher Kurt Suzuki on the American League squad. It's the second straight All-Star selection for Perkins and the first for Suzuki in his eight seasons in the big leagues.

Second baseman Brian Dozier was a notable snub, as was right-hander Phil Hughes. First baseman Joe Mauer, who is currently on the 15-day disabled list, will serve as the ambassador for the All-Star Game, but he will miss out on the game for the first time since 2011.

The Twins, though, will still be sending a catcher for a third straight year, and the sixth time in the last seven, with Suzuki getting the nod in his first season with Minnesota.

"I have a knack for bringing catchers," Perkins said with a laugh. "I'm excited for him. He's had a heck of a year. He's been our best player. He's more than deserving. I'm excited for him, and hopefully I'll get the chance to throw the ball to him."

Glen Perkins, LHP
Prior ASGs: 2013
ASG W-L: 1-0
ASG stats: N/A
How he made 2014 AL team: Manager selection
Why he's an All-Star: Perkins has quietly developed into one of the game's best closers over the last three years, and this season he's striking out more hitters while walking fewer batters. The 31-year-old also reached the 20-save plateau before the break despite playing on a team that's under .500.
DYK?: Perkins didn't see any action in last year's All-Star Game, but he remains hopeful he'll get to pitch in his year's Midsummer Classic, especially with it at Target Field. Perkins grew up locally and went to the University of Minnesota, so he estimated he'll have at least 20 family members and friends in attendance for the All-Star Game.
Quotable: "I think ever since we got named as the host team for it, I think it was something a lot of guys in the clubhouse looked forward to," Perkins said. "Things broke my way. I did everything I could do to be here. I don't think it's really sunk in yet. I'm excited to represent the Twins and the state. It's a dream come true. It's overwhelming to think about. Hopefully, I'll be able to step back a little bit and enjoy it."

Kurt Suzuki, C
Prior ASGs: None
ASG W-L: N/A
ASG stats: N/A
How he made 2014 AL team: Manager selection
Why he's an All-Star: Suzuki has been solid defensively behind the plate, as usual, but the 30-year-old is having a career year with the bat. He's been among the league leaders in batting average throughout the season and has already surpassed his RBI total from last year, when he split the season with the Nationals and A's.
DYK?: The Twins were in the market last offseason for a catcher, with Mauer moving off the position to first base. They signed Suzuki to an under-the-radar one-year deal worth $2.75 million. Suzuki, a solid player during his days in Oakland, nearly made the All-Star team in 2009, but he will now be a first-time All-Star in his eighth season in the big leagues.
Quotable: "I don't know how to describe it," Suzuki said. "It's kind of surreal right now. I'm just trying to soak it all in. I'm just trying to have a good time with it and try to enjoy myself. It's going to be cool. It's my first one so I don't know what it'll be like, but I'm assuming it'll be pretty fun with the home crowd behind you. This is my home team so this is exciting."

Immediately following the announcement of the AL and National League All-Star rosters on Sunday, fans began voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until the winners are announced after the voting concludes on Thursday at 3 p.m. CT.

The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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