NEW YORK – Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was selected to make his fourth consecutive appearance in the major league All Star game after coming third in fan balloting, Major League baseball announced on Sunday.
Suzuki, who marked 200 hits in his first three years since his rookie season in the majors in 2001, is the only Japanese player to be picked for this year’s All Star game, which will be played at Minute Maid Park in Houston, on July 13.
New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui came fourth in fan balloting but still has a chance to make the roster via a final Internet vote for the American League squad as one of the five nominees for the 32nd spot on the team.
Suzuki received some 36,000 more votes than Hideki Matsui while New York Mets shortstop Kazuo Matsui came third in the National League fan ballots with 1,167,031 votes.
Japan all-time saves leader Shingo Takatsu of the Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres reliever Akinori Otsuka and Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Kazuhisa Ishii, who has nine wins this season, were not selected.
Former Hiroshima Carp Alfonso Soriano of the Texas Rangers led the votes with 3,466,447.
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