Guardado Twins' only All-Star

Reliever chosen after losing game to Indians

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Sixty-three major leaguers found out Sunday they were going to the All-Star Game, and surely none of them were less enthused than Eddie Guardado.

"I don't think I really deserve to go after these last two outings," Guardado said after serving up a two-run homer to Cleveland's Shane Spencer with two outs in the 10th inning of the Twins' 5-3 loss to the Indians.

This came four days after Guardado blew his second save this season by giving up a two-run home run to Chicago's Frank Thomas in the 12th inning of an 8-6 loss to the White Sox. Guardado, whose 20 saves have him tied for fourth in the American League, also allowed a homer to Paul Konerko that tied Wednesday's game in the 11th.


"Somebody's got to represent the team, right?" Guardado said glumly. "They chose me, so hopefully I can represent the organization -- not like the way I did today."

After leading the AL with 45 saves and making the All-Star team last season, the left-hander is 1-4 with a 3.82 ERA. "He's pitched his tail off for us this year," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Guardado joins Oakland closer Keith Foulke and Anaheim setup man Brendan Donnelly as the other relievers chosen for the 32-member squad by players, managers and coaches. Three other closers -- Tampa Bay's Lance Carter, Kansas City's Mike MacDougal and Seattle's Shigetoshi Hasegawa -- were picked by Anaheim's Mike Scioscia, who'll manage the AL team.

Third baseman Corey Koskie was probably the most deserving Twin. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski and right-handed reliever LaTroy Hawkins also made strong cases to be included in the July 15 Midsummer Classic at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field.

"That just flows right into the way everything's going right now," said Gardenhire, whose team has lost 16 out of 22.

Hawkins, Guardado's top setup man who gave up the tying homer in the eighth to Matt Lawton Sunday, is 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 441⁄3; innings.

"I told LaTroy, man, he deserves it more than I do," Guardado said.

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