Giants' Cueto named NL All-Star starter

Giants' Cueto named NL All-Star starter

SAN DIEGO -- It was Johnny Cueto's Royals who triumphed over manager Terry Collins' Mets in the World Series last year. Collins now has Cueto on his side in attempt to secure home-field advantage for this year's Fall Classic, selecting the Dominican right-hander as the National League starter for tonight's All-Star Game presented by MasterCard, to be played at Petco Park in San Diego (7:30 p.m. ET on FOX).

The American League, led by Royals manager Ned Yost, will counter with White Sox left-hander Chris Sale.

Cueto, representing the Giants after inking a six-year deal this offseason, is very much deserving, having pitched to a 13-1 record and 2.47 ERA. San Francisco is 16-2 in his 18 starts -- four of them complete games, including two shutouts.

The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw, who has an 11-2 record to go with a Major League-best 1.79 ERA, would have likely been under strong consideration if not on the disabled list.

"We had a tremendous group of starting pitchers in the National League this year," Collins said. "Everybody certainly deserves an opportunity, but I thought [Cueto] has pitched the best in this first half of the season and deserves this opportunity for what he's done, and for what he did to us in the World Series last year."

Cueto twirled a gem in Game 2 of the World Series, allowing one run and two hits in a complete-game win that helped the Royals beat the Mets in just five games.

"I think his numbers speak for themselves," Collins said, "and certainly with what we saw last year in the World Series; I've seen Johnny pitch against my team a number of times, and that was the best outing I've ever seen him have."

Cueto will partner with battery mate Buster Posey tonight for the start of a contest that could prove impactful for their Giants, who finished the first half with the Majors' best record at 57-33.

It's the second All-Star nod for the 30-year-old Cueto, who will become the first Giants pitcher to start the Midsummer Classic since Matt Cain in 2012. Other Giants to do so include Tim Lincecum (2009), Jason Schmidt (2003), Rick Reuschel (1989), Vida Blue (1978) and Juan Marichal (1965, 1967).

"It's an honor to represent the National League and to be a starter in the All-Star Game," Cueto said. "I was going to be happy just to be participating in the game, but I'm very happy to be starting, and I thank Terry Collins for having faith in me."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.