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Japan’s Tanaka added to AL all-star team

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Los Angeles (AFP) – New York Yankees player Masahiro Tanaka was named as a late addition Saturday to the pitching staff for the American League all-star team, Major League Baseball announced.

The Yankees starter was added as a replacement for Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman, who is dealing with a left shoulder injury.

“I mean, just surprised because I never thought that I’d be selected,” said Japan’s Tanaka, who is 5-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 18 starts.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the 30-year-old Tanaka has battled his way into the mid-summer classic.

“He’s been searching for stuff throughout the year and yet, he’s gone out and delivered,” said Boone.

This is the second all-star selection for Tanaka, who will join teammates closing pitcher Aroldis Chapman, infielder DJ LeMahieu, infielder Gleyber Torres and catcher Gary Sanchez on the AL roster.

“There’s no surprise that the other four are going,” Tanaka said. “It’s well-deserved that they’re going.”

Because of an elbow injury, Tanaka missed the all-star game in 2014 — his only other selection.

The all-star game will be held Tuesday in Cleveland, Ohio.

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