Halladay and Lincecum named All-Star starters

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Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum have been chosen to start tomorrow
night’s All-Star game and both managers revealed their lineups this
morning:

   AMERICAN LEAGUE                 NATIONAL LEAGUE
1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF 1. Hanley Ramirez, SS
2. Derek Jeter, SS 2. Chase Utley, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C 3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Mark Teixeira, 1B 4. Ryan Braun, RF
5. Jason Bay, LF 5. Raul Ibanez, LF
6. Josh Hamilton, CF 6. David Wright, 3B
7. Evan Longoria, 3B 7. Shane Victorino, CF
8. Aaron Hill, 2B 8. Yadier Molina, C
9. Roy Halladay, SP 9. Tim Lincecum, SP

Lincecum is the reigning Cy Young winner and ranks second in ERA
this year, so he’s the easy pick to start for the NL. Halladay isn’t
quite as much of a slam dunk for the AL, because Zack Greinke was the
league’s best pitcher during the first half, but Halladay wasn’t far
behind and has been one of the league’s elite pitchers for a decade
now. All in all, it’s a great pairing.

Shane Victorino goes from being added via the “Final Vote” process
to starting in place of the injured Carlos Beltran, because with Raul
Ibanez and Ryan Braun in the corners the NL outfield needed someone
actually capable of chasing down fly balls in the gaps. It’s
interesting to note how much more power the NL has in the first three
spots in the lineup.

Ichiro Suzuki, Derek Jeter, and Joe Mauer have combined for 31
homers in 1,044 plate appearances, and that’s with Mauer already
setting a career-high in long balls. Hanley Ramirez, Chase Utley, and
Albert Pujols have combined for 66 homers in 1,111 plate appearances.
On the other hand, Aaron Hill has 20 homers and ranks second in the
league in total bases, yet is batting eighth for the AL.

Video: Jaime Garcia hits a 399-foot grand slam

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Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.

The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.

Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.

As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:

Ryon Healy exits game after taking a ground ball to the face

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Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.

Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.

Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.