The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

July 6, 2013

Four Pirates make National League All-Star team


The Tribune-Democrat

PITTSBURGH — Making the National League All-Star team is nothing new for Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen.

It is for the three teammates joining him in this year’s All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York.

For the first time since 1981, the Pirates will send four representatives to the All-Star Game, which takes place July 16. Joining McCutchen among the National League reserves will be teammates Pedro Alvarez, Jason Grilli and Jeff Locke.

This marks the third straight year Pittsburgh will have multiple representatives at the Midsummer Classic. The last time the Pirates had multiple representatives in at least three straight years was from 1990-93.

This is the third time in McCutchen’s career (2011, 2012) he has been named to the All-Star team. He is the first Pirates position player to be named to at least three consecutive All-Star teams since Bobby Bonilla from 1988-91. Since the beginning of the 2012 season, McCutchen leads all National League players in hits (288), ranks fifth in batting average (.317), sixth in on-base percentage (.389) and seventh in slugging percentage (.523). The 26-year-old McCutchen was selected to this year’s contest by the players.

Alvarez enters today tied for second in the league in home runs (22), ranks seventh in RBI (57) and 10th in slugging percentage (.507). He is also one of just seven different players in Pirates history to hit at least 22 home runs prior to the All-Star break. Since the beginning of the 2012 season the 26-year-old Alvarez is tied for second among all National League players with 51 home runs. Alvarez was also named to this year’s team by player vote.

Grilli has a league-leading 28 saves. His 28 saves are the most in Pirates history before the break – the previous record was 26 by Joel Hanrahan in 2011.

He also leads all relievers in Major League Baseball with 60 strikeouts, which are the second-most in Pirates history among relievers prior to the All-Star break since Rich "Goose" Gossage had 95 in 1977. The 36-year-old Grilli’s 28 saves are also the most by the All-Star break by a National Leaguer since Washington’s Chad Cordero had 31 in 2005. Grilli was also selected by the players.

Locke is 8-1 this season and is ranked second among all National League pitchers with a 2.12 ERA. He has won each of his last eight decisions, which is the longest by a Pirates southpaw since John Candelaria also won eight straight in 1983. The 25-year-old Locke’s eight game winning streak is also tied for the second longest among all National League pitchers this season. He is the first Pirates left-handed starting pitcher to be named to the All-Star team since Zach Duke in 2009. National League All-Star manager Bruce Bochy selected Locke to the team.