Nathan, Darvish, Cruz make All-Star team

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Rangers won’t have an All-Star starter for the first time since 2007 this year but the club will be well represented in the July 16 game at Citi Field.

Pitchers Joe Nathan and Yu Darvish made the American League team as well as outfielder Nelson Cruz.

The Rangers could have a fourth All-Star as right-handed reliever Tanner Scheppers is one of the five finalist for the AL Final Vote spot.

Nathan came into Saturday’s game tied for second in the AL with 28 saves. The right-hander has a 1.43 ERA and is 28 for 29 in save chances.

Nathan, who surpassed 300 career saves earlier this season, has posted a 0.76 ERA over the last 23 games and had 11 saves last month. This marks his sixth All-Star selection. He was picked by Texas manager Ron Washington for the team last year.

“Almost perfect,” Washington said. “He hasn’t let us down one time when he took that mound. He finds a way. He can get three outs. He went from power to finesse. He can spin it. He can change it.”

Cruz has been the best offensive producer the Rangers have had this season and has worked his way into the No. 3 spot in the lineup.

Cruz, who also made the All-Star team in 2009, is batting .268 and leads the Rangers in home runs and is tied fourth in the AL with 65 RBI.

“He’s got so many huge hits for us through all the turmoil we’ve been going through, all the personnel changes, all the injuries,” Washington said. “He’s been the one constant and we’ve certainly needed it. He’s a big reason why we are where we are.”

Darvish came into his Saturday start with an 8-3 record. Darvish, who made the All-Star team last year on the fan vote, leads all major leaguers with 151 strikeouts. He’s second in the majors in opponents’ batting average (.190) and is among the AL leaders in WHIP, ERA and wins.

Last year the Rangers had a club record eight All-Star selections, including three elected starters in Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Adrian Beltre. Hamilton started the last five games for the Rangers.