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Rays’ relief pitcher Alex Colome an all-star; Evan Longoria in voting for final slot

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Turns out, the AL All-Stars may need some relief, too.

The All-Stars turned to Rays’ closer Alex Colome Tuesday as the Rays’ selection to the game. Colome has 19 saves in 19 opportunities and a 1.76 ERA.

“First of all, we’re very excited about Alex,” said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash. “I think that’s awesome. Very much earned for Alex, a guy that has come through the system and has really taken to his role. As far as for Evan, I think it’s an honor to be in that top five. I hope our fan base and people outside of our fan base understand what type of year he’s having and can vote him in there. We feel he’s definitely worthy. Saying that, we understand how difficult it is for the manager that’s picking the team. There are a lot of good players out there. Obviously, we feel Evan Longoria is All-Star worthy and are very hopeful that he gets the votes needed to get to the game.”

Longoria is in the voting for the last slot against Ian Kinsler, Michael Saunders, George Springer and Dustin Pedroia.

“I’m always excited to be considered in that group,” Longoria said. “First and foremost, I’m very happy for Colome. I think he’s deserving of it. He’s one of the only guys down there that’s been consistent for us and been great, and we’ve asked a lot out of him. And I’m honored to be on the final ballot thing. We talked about it earlier, I was on it in 2008, and we came through and won. So hopefully we can rally the troops and get some votes and get me there again.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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