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Leyland lays out his pitching strategy for AL

Leyland lays out his pitching strategy for AL


NEW YORK -- While Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer received the honor of starting for the American League in the All-Star Game, Chris Sale and Matt Moore are on track to cover innings for the AL as the Midsummer Classic.

AL All-Star manager Jim Leyland said Tuesday afternoon that Scherzer will pitch only the first inning, no matter how few pitches he throws. Leyland plans on using Sale, the White Sox ace, for two innings once Scherzer finishes with the first.

"The plan right now is Felix Hernandez for an inning," Leyland said, referring to the fourth inning. "The plan after that is [Rays left-hander Matt] Moore for an inning or possibly two, but an inning for sure. And then fill in with some bullpen guys. But as the game goes on, you might see what happens."

Leyland reiterated his plans to use Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in either the eighth or ninth inning, depending on the score, to try to finish out Rivera's final All-Star Game.

At least one AL pitcher, probably two, will be held back in case the game goes to extra innings. It will not necessarily be the pitchers that were added to the roster in recent days, a list that included Orioles starter Chris Tillman, Royals closer Greg Holland and A's closer Grant Balfour.

Other available starters on the AL roster, pitchers capable of covering multiple innings if needed, include Tillman and Cleveland's Justin Masterson. The pitchers will know before the game starts.

Whoever gets the assignment could well lose out on an All-Star appearance if the game doesn't go extras, but Leyland said they had to map out a pitching plan for a potentially long game. After extra-inning games extended All-Star rosters to the brink of running out of pitchers, as they did in 2002 and nearly did in 2008, managers are required to have a game plan in case of a long evening.

"I have to guarantee pretty much that I have accounted for 15 innings of pitching," said Leyland, who worked out the plan with Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones.

Sale is making his second consecutive All-Star appearance. He pitched the sixth inning in last year's game at Kansas City. Moore is making his All-Star debut.

The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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