Phils' Werth replaces Beltran for NL

Updated: July 10, 2009, 7:33 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Jayson Werth's power push paid off.

As did Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz's.

Fresh from homering for the fourth straight game, Philadelphia's Werth was picked for the NL All-Star team Friday as an outfield replacement for injured New York Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran.

Cruz
Cruz
Werth
Werth

Cruz was selected to replace injured Los Angeles Angels center fielder Torii Hunter.

The defending World Series champion Phillies put three outfielders on the NL roster for Tuesday night's game in St. Louis. Left fielder Raul Ibanez was elected by fans to start and center fielder Shane Victorino won a spot in Internet voting for reserves.

It's the first time in 37 years that an NL team sent three outfielders to the All-Star Game -- Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Al Oliver went for Pittsburgh in 1972.

"It's an honor to go with the guys that are going. It says a lot about the character of the guys on the team," Werth said. "It's going to be a great experience."

Overall, this is the 13th time overall that a team had three outfielders in an All-Star Game. The 1995 Cleveland Indians were the most recent to do it with Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle and Kenny Lofton.

Major League Baseball said Friday that Cruz was chosen because he received the next-highest number of votes for outfielders on the AL player ballot.

Cruz entered Friday batting .262 with 20 homers and 50 RBIs for the Rangers. It's the fifth-year player's first All-Star selection, and Cruz is the 27th first-time All-Star set to play next Tuesday in St. Louis.

Hunter has not played since Tuesday because of a strained abductor muscle.

Werth homered Thursday night as the NL East-leading Phillies beat Cincinnati 9-6. He is batting .268 with 20 home runs and 54 RBIs.

"His stats are definitely up there with the other guys," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who will guide the NL team, said after the win over the Reds. "He's been swinging the bat really good lately. He plays a good right field, has a strong arm. He's a talented kid."

Werth, Ibanez and Victorino are first-time All-Stars. Phillies second baseman Chase Utley was elected to start and first baseman Ryan Howard was selected as a reserve.

Beltran is on the disabled list because of a bone bruise below his right knee. He'll be re-examined during the All-Star break, and will have an MRI exam.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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