Suzuki earns 7th consecutive All-Star nod; Putz gets first

Updated: July 1, 2007, 7:20 PM ET
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki earned his seventh consecutive All-Star game appearance and closer J.J. Putz got his first, Major League Baseball announced Sunday.

Suzuki, who has been an All-Star in every season in which he's been in the major leagues, edged Boston's Manny Ramirez in fan voting by about 200,000 votes to start in the game on July 10 in San Francisco. It is the first time since 1998 that Ramirez has not finished among the top three leading outfielders in AL voting.

Suzuki, a Gold Glove winner, is three behind Ken Griffey Jr. as Seattle's franchise leader in consecutive All-Star selections. Griffey, who made this year's team as the NL's leading vote-getter, went 10 consecutive times while with the Mariners from 1990-99.

This is the 14th consecutive All-Star selection for Suzuki, who went in his last seven seasons in Japan with Orix.

Putz, in his first full season as closer, had converted 25 consecutive save opportunities, a major-league best and two away from the club record of the man he replaced last May, Eddie Guardado.

He was selected by vote of major league players and was third among AL relievers, behind Francisco Rodriguez of the Los Angeles Angels and Jonathan Papelbon of Boston.

Putz's 0.92 ERA after a scoreless ninth inning Sunday was second in the AL behind Boston's Hideki Okajima's 0.90 ERA among pitchers who have appeared in at least 18 games. Putz is already third in Mariners history his 69 career saves.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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