Sale named to 5th straight AL All-Star squad

Sale named to 5th straight AL All-Star squad

CHICAGO -- Left-hander Chris Sale was chosen for his fifth straight All-Star team, meaning he has been an All-Star in every year he has started.

"He's one of the best in the game," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Sale, who easily won the AL player vote at his position. "You look at his numbers, and he ranks up there with a lot of the best that have ever pitched.

"It's not a surprise. He's earned it. You're proud of him to be able to do that. and just the maturity stuff that he's been able to do this early in his career. It's a great honor, it really is."

VOTE NOW: Esurance Final Vote

Sale stands as the White Sox lone representative for a second straight season. He leads the Majors with 14 victories, against two losses, and has a 2.93 ERA over 17 starts. He tops the AL with 120 innings pitched, yielding 94 hits, striking out 118 and walking 24. Opponents have a .214 average against him, and he has a 0.98 WHIP.

There's a solid chance that Sale will be named as the AL's starting pitcher. If so he would join Mark Buehrle (2005) and Esteban Loaiza (2003) as White Sox All-Star starters since 1960.

"It's just a nice little feather in your cap when you're the guy that's been tabbed, the guy that starts the game," Ventura said. "So I hope he gets a chance to be that guy. To me, he's earned it. He deserves it, and I hope he enjoys it if he gets that chance."

Fans can vote for the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote until 4 p.m. ET on Friday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will be announced during a Final Vote-themed telecast of "MLB Now" featuring commentary from political analyst Jeff Greenfield, live on MLB Network and MLB.com from 4-5 p.m. ET. MLB Network will provide extensive coverage across all of its studio programming during the Final Vote, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating the cities where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.

Baseball fans have cast nearly 600 million online votes for Final Vote candidates since the program's inception in 2002. In addition to MLB.com and the official club websites, fans can use their mobile devices to cast votes at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, fans can text their choice to 89269. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Final Vote will include social balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET on Friday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.

On Tuesday, July 12, watch the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2016 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 87th All-Star Game, in San Diego, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.