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Playing in the All-Star Game never gets old for Mike Trout, even as he gets older.
The Los Angeles Angels outfielder will be at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Tuesday night for his eighth All-Star Game. He is the first MLB player to be voted a starter by the fans in seven straight seasons since Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees from 2006-12.
In fact, the two-time All-Star Game MVP (2014, 2015) received the most votes among American League players this year. He also set the club record for number of times being selected as a starter, breaking a tie with Hall of Fame member Rod Carew (1979-84).
"It means a lot," Trout, 27, told Angels.com. "A lot of great players before me played in an Angels uniform. It's an honor. I can't do this without the fans. It makes you feel good. To be voted in and be the highest vote-getter, it means a lot to me. I can't thank the fans enough."
Trout is 7-for-15 with two doubles, two homers and four RBIs in six All-Star Games. He missed the 2017 edition because of an injury.
Entering the break, he was hitting .301 with 28 home runs and 67 RBIs for the Angels.
The American League has defeated the National League in six straight games, including 8-6 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., last year to take a 44-43-2 series lead. The last National League win was 8-0 on July 10, 2012, at Kaufmann Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu will start the game on Tuesday for the National League. The 32-year-old is 10-2 on the season with a major league-leading 1.73 ERA in 17 starts. American League manager Alex Cora hadn't announced his starter as of Sunday afternoon.
This will be the fifth All-Star Game in Cleveland and the first since 1997, when the American League won 3-1 and Progressive Field was known as Jacobs Field. Indians catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. was the game's Most Valuable Player.
Trout made his All-Star debut in that 2012 game in Kansas City. This year, Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves is among those playing in their first game and the 21-year-old is thrilled to make the trek to Cleveland. He will be the youngest player ever representing the Braves to start an All-Star Game.
"What can I say? I'm extremely excited and hopefully there will be many more to come," Acuna told reporters. "But for this one, I'm just going to go out there, give it my best effort and try to enjoy myself."
Acuna, who was elected to join Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger in the outfield, is batting .292 with 21 home runs, 53 RBIs and 105 hits in 90 games.
The reigning National League Rookie of the Year, Acuna said he couldn't compare that award with the honor of being an All-Star.
"They're definitely both up there. There's something to be said for Rookie of the Year because you only win it once," he said. "You'll have multiple opportunities to make an All-Star Game depending on the way you play. But as of right now, they're both up there. And with the All-Star Game, there's nothing like the first time. It's really exciting."
--Field Level Media