Perkins, Dozier soak up All-Star experience

Twins' closer earned save for AL last year; second baseman a first-timer

Perkins, Dozier soak up All-Star experience

No matter what happens Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park, it's hard to imagine Glen Perkins enjoying this All-Star experience more than last year's. Not that he's complaining.

Perkins will take part Tuesday in his third straight All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile. A year ago, the hometown closer picked up the save as the American League won at Target Field.

"As far as topping that, it's probably not going to happen," Perkins said. "But I had fun in New York [in 2013] and I didn't even pitch. So it's still an honor and something I'll never get tired of."

Perkins has pitched well enough to earn the honor, leading the league with 28 saves while posting a 1.21 ERA. He's perfect in save opportunities, breaking Joe Nathan's club record for most consecutive converted saves.

"It's well-deserved. I think he's probably been the best closer in the American League," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He gets ahead consistently and when he does, he's devastating, either with the location of the fastball, or the slider diving."

Perkins retires side, earns save

Last year, Perkins was joined in Minneapolis by catcher Kurt Suzuki. This year, he reported to Cincinnati alongside second baseman Brian Dozier, who finished second in the AL Final Vote but found a spot on the roster as an injury replacement for Toronto's Jose Bautista.

During the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile in Cincinnati on Tuesday, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MVP Vote presented by Chevrolet, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app.

The 86th Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (coverage begins 6 p.m. CT), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

This is Dozier's first appointment to the All-Star team. But it's not his first Midsummer Classic experience.

Dozier, who leads the Twins with 19 homers and 50 RBIs, participated in last year's Home Run Derby at Target Field. This time, he's been recognized for his all-around excellence.

Dating back to last season, Dozier leads all Major League second basemen with 8.1 Wins Above Replacement. He leads the AL in extra-base hits and is second to Mike Trout with 67 runs scored.

Dozier a deserving All-Star

He's been such a critical piece of Minnesota's surprisingly successful start that Molitor recently mentioned him as a first-half MVP candidate.

For now, Dozier will have to settle for his first All-Star Game.

"Obviously I got a taste of it, being in the Home Run Derby last year," Dozier said. "But right now, I'm just soaking it right up."

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.