ANAHEIM -- Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki has always been known for his defense behind the plate but it's his offensive output this year that has him in consideration for a spot in this year's All-Star Game at Target Field.
Suzuki entered Tuesday's game against the Angels with a .321 batting average that ranks as the sixth-best mark in the American League. He leads all AL catchers in batting average and on-base percentage (.378), while ranking second in hits (68) and doubles (15), and third in RBIs (32).
"He's a veteran," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He recognizes what pitchers are doing and can sit on certain areas of the plate and look for his pitch. He has a good plan. He watches a lot of video. And he has a great swing. It's short and he gets the barrel out there. But I think it comes from him preparing."
Suzuki has never been an All-Star in his eight-year career and ranked fifth among AL backstops in the latest AL ballot update released Sunday.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans this year once again can participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2014 Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 7 p.m. CT on Monday, July 14.
The 2014 AL and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show on July 6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the 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 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, 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 will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Gibson's scoreless streak ends at 22 innings
ANAHEIM -- Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson saw his 22-inning scoreless streak come to an end in a hurry against the Angels on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium.
Gibson, who had turned in three straight starts of seven scoreless innings, gave up five runs in the first inning on two hits and two walks. They were the first runs allowed by Gibson since surrendering a two-run homer to Brewers third baseman Mark Reynolds in the fifth inning of Minnesota's 6-2 loss on June 2.
Gibson's 22-inning scoreless streak was the third-longest active streak in the American League and the fourth-longest in the Majors coming into the game. The streak officially ended on a two-run single from Josh Hamilton with the bases loaded and nobody out. Howie Kendrick also added a two-run single with the bases loaded before another run scored on a double-play grounder from C.J. Cron.
"I'm just out there trying to put up zeros every time but I guess you're just going to have outings like this one," Gibson said after the Twins' 8-6 loss to the Angels. "This one was frustrating because we had a streak going and we were playing really well. And then in the first inning, I didn't give us a chance. Obviously, the offense battled back into it but it's just frustrating really."
The club record for a scoreless streak by a starting pitcher is 33 innings by left-hander Johan Santana set in 2004. Other notable scoreless streaks by Twins starters include Scott Erickson's 29-inning streak in 1991, Frank Viola's 29-inning streak in '88 and Jim Kaat's 27-inning streak in '66.
The Twins record for a scoreless streak by any pitcher is 36 innings by reliever J.C. Romero in '04.
Berrios, Vargas named to Futures Game roster
ANAHEIM -- Twins prospects Jose Berrios and Kennys Vargas will get an early taste of what it's like to play at Target Field.
The Puerto Rico natives are set to represent the Twins and the World Team in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which will be played on July 13 at Target Field. Rosters were officially announced on Tuesday.
"The fans will get a chance to see what everybody has been talking about," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Vargas has had a heck of a first half and can kill a baseball. And Berrios can wing it. He's got a great arm and is very athletic. So they'll get to see those two for sure."
Berrios, ranked as the No. 73 overall prospect by MLB.com, has excelled at Class A Advanced Fort Myers, going 8-2 with a 2.05 ERA in 14 starts. The 20-year-old right-hander has struck out 98, walked 21 and allowed three homers in 83 1/3 innings.
Vargas, ranked as Minnesota's 15th best prospect by MLB.com, is hitting .318/.395/.531 with 14 homers, 13 doubles and 57 RBIs in 70 games at Double-A New Britain. The 23-year-old first baseman has also made strides defensively and has made just three errors in 483 chances on the year.
"Not only are they two of our better prospects but they're also producing numbers," said Twins general manager Terry Ryan. "We want to reward guys like that. I'm very happy. We had a host of guys we submitted for that game but these guys are putting up numbers and they're rewarded for it."
Among those passed up included right-handers Trevor May and Alex Meyer, who have both pitched well at Triple-A Rochester. The club's top two prospects, Byron Buxton (strained left wrist) and Miguel Sano (Tommy John surgery), remain sidelined with injuries. Buxton and Sano represented the Twins in last year's Futures Game at Citi Field.
"I think there were a couple others who could've been on that team," Gardenhire said. "I think May's had a really great first half of the season. I wish our young guys would've been healthy because it would've been fun to see Buxton and Sano out there at our own park. I think if they're healthy and playing they would've been there and that would've been cool."
The 16th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game will take place at 7 p.m. CT on Sunday, July 13, at Target Field in Minneapolis, and it can be seen live on MLB.com and MLB Network, and followed live on MLB.com's Gameday. In addition, XM Radio will broadcast play-by-play coverage of the event live on MLB Network Radio XM 89 and Sirius channel 209. MLB.com will also provide complete coverage before, during and after the game.
Fans can stay updated by following @MLBFutures on Twitter and can send and receive tweets to and from the U.S. and World Team dugouts during the game by tagging tweets with the hashtags #USDugout and #WorldDugout.
Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League clubs, selected the 25 players currently on each team.
Each Major League organization is represented, and players from all full-season Minor Leagues were eligible to participate. Complete Futures Game rosters, prospect analysis and rankings can be found at mlb.com/pipeline.
Twins sign second-round pick Burdi
ANAHEIM -- The Twins signed right-hander Nick Burdi, who was selected in the second-round of the First-Year Player Draft, the club announced Tuesday. Burdi will receive the full slot value of $1,218,800, and will report to Class A Cedar Rapids.
The 6-foot-4 right-hander posted a 0.49 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 37 innings as a junior at Louisville this season. His fastball has reached as high as 103 mph, but also possesses a slider that can reach the low 90s. The 21-year-old also throws a changeup but is expected to be a two-pitch reliever as a professional and profiles as a hard-throwing closer.
Burdi could move through the Minors quickly given his advanced approach but Twins general manager Terry Ryan said it'll be up to Burdi on how fast he advances.
"It's all about production and performance and makeup," Ryan said. "We started him there because he's ready to pitch there based on the people who have seen him. That's what it comes down to."
The Twins have now signed nine of their first 10 picks. University of Texas right-hander John Curtiss is the only player taken in the top 10 rounds who has yet to agree to terms with the Twins.