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Kershaw named to third consecutive National League All-Star Team

Major League Baseball announced today that Dodger left-hander Clayton Kershaw was selected as a member of the National League All-Star team via player balloting, his third career and third consecutive All-Star selection. In addition, Dodger first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfielder Yasiel Puig were selected as Final Vote candidates and one has the opportunity to join Kershaw on the NL All-Star team via fan balloting, which begins immediately on Dodgers.com or MLB.com/vote. The 84th Midsummer Classic will be held on Tuesday, July 16 at New York's Citi Field.

Gonzalez and Puig were among the five players selected for the final vote and fans can vote an unlimited number of times between now and 1:00 p.m. PT on Thursday, July 11 online at Dodgers.com or mlb.com/vote and on mobile devices. To vote via mobile device, fans can text N3 to 89269 to vote for Adrian Gonzalez and text N5 to 89269 to vote for Yasiel Puig. The other candidates are Washington's Ian Desmond, Atlanta's Freddie Freeman and San Francisco's Hunter Pence.

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Kershaw, who was selected as an All-Star last year by Manager Tony La Russa and in 2011 via player balloting, is the first Dodger to be selected to three consecutive All-Star teams since Eric Gagne (2002-04). Kershaw tossed a scoreless inning of relief in both of his previous All-Star appearances.

The 25-year-old has gone 7-5 with a 1.93 ERA through 18 starts this season, leading the Majors in ERA and opponents' batting average (.189) and ranking among the NL's best in innings pitched (130.1, 3rd), strikeouts (126, 2nd), shutouts (2, T-1st) and WHIP (0.93, 2nd). Kershaw has tossed 7.0 or more innings in 14 of his 18 starts, while allowing one or fewer runs in nine outings this season.

Kershaw was selected as the National League's Player of the Week during the season's opening week, when he went 2-0 with 16 strikeouts in 16.0 scoreless innings in two starts. Kershaw earned the win in his first decision of the 2013 campaign with an Opening Day performance for the record books, tossing a shutout and clubbing a game-winning homer in a 4-0 victory over the visiting San Francisco Giants. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Texas-native became just the second pitcher in Major League history to hit a home run and throw a shutout in his team's season opener, joining Cleveland Indians hurler Bob Lemon, who homered in his Opening Day one-hitter against the White Sox on April 14, 1953. In addition to hitting an eighth-inning blast that broke a scoreless tie, Kershaw held San Francisco batters to four hits while fanning seven and not issuing a walk. The shutout extended Kershaw's streak of three consecutive Opening Day starts without allowing a run (also: April 5, 2012 at San Diego and March 31, 2011 vs. San Francisco).

Kershaw has posted a 68-42 record in 169 games (167 starts) in six Major League seasons and leads the big leagues with a 2.69 ERA and .212 opponents' batting average since the start of the 2008 season.

Gonzalez, a four-time All-Star (2008-11), is batting .300 (14th, NL) and leads the Dodgers in runs (33, T-1st), hits (91), doubles (19), home runs (13) and RBI (53, 9th in NL) in 82 games. Gonzalez has also come through in the clutch and batted .342 with runners in scoring position, including a .481 mark with runners in scoring position and two outs (13-for-27), the fourth-best mark in the Majors.

The 31-year-old has hit safely in five of his last six games, batting .346 (9-for-26) with two doubles, three homers and six RBI since June 29.

Puig has hit safely in 26 of his first 30 big league games and since making his debut on June 3, he leads the Majors with 50 hits (seven more than his closest competitor), a .420 batting average and a .706 slugging percentage, while ranking among the NL leaders in home runs (8, T-4th), RBI (19, T-9th) and on-base percentage (.449, 1st).

On Wednesday, he was named the National League's June Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month, becoming the first player to win a Player of the Month Award in his first month in the big leagues since the award was instituted in 1958. In 26 games last month, his first in the big leagues, Puig led the Majors with a .436 (44-for-101) batting average, 44 hits and a .713 slugging percentage. His 44 hits ranked as the second-most all-time for a player in their debut calendar month, behind Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio's 48 hits in May 1936. Puig joined DiMaggio as the only players in Major League history to record at least 40 hits while hitting at least four home runs in their first month in the Majors. Puig was also named NL Player of the Week during the week of his MLB debut, June 3-9.

The Dodgers have had three previous players selected for the final vote with Nomar Garciaparra (2006), Matt Kemp (2009) and Andre Ethier (2011). Garciaparra earned the 2006 All-Star selection via the final vote, while Ethier eventually earned the All-Star nod as an injury replacement.

 

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