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Orioles have 3 All-Stars, with a 4th pending

Sunday - 7/1/2012, 4:21pm  ET

By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer

BALTIMORE - For the first time since 2005, the Baltimore Orioles will have more than one player representing them in the All-Star game.

Center fielder Adam Jones was selected to the AL squad for the second time, Matt Wieters will make a second straight trip and closer Jim Johnson was voted in for the first time in his career.

Starting pitcher Jason Hammel is one of five players in the final fan vote for the AL. Fans have until Thursday to vote, with one player getting the nod.

From 2006-2011, Baltimore had only one representative in the All-Star game, including Jones in 2009. The difference is that this year, the Orioles are playing surprisingly well.

"It shows, maybe, the direction the ballclub is going," said Johnson, whose 23 saves through Saturday were tied for most in the league.

Johnson is one big reason why the Orioles began play Sunday with a 42-35 record and in second place in the AL East.

"It's great," said Wieters, his batterymate. "You can look at any of the great closers in the game, and you can put Jim's first half up there with anyone. I'll take Jim's over everybody, and I'll take Jim over other closers."

Johnson was understandably delighted to be selected.

"It's one of the more special things that happened so far in my career," he said. "I'm looking forward to it. But it's not the end all, be all. I think there's more important stuff that needs to be accomplished. It's a good stepping stone. I think of it that way."

For once, an Oriole will have some company at the All-Star game.

"It's pretty cool," Jones said. "For the last seven years, it's been one player. You have to win to get more than one player nowadays. It's an accomplishment to our team."

Said Wieters: "Last year, it was great to go to the All-Star game, to see the other teams have two, three, four, five guys there. It makes it even more fun that you get to share something with your teammates that you're battling the whole year with, and to have a good time out there."


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)