AL saves leader Rodney rides momentum into All-Star Game

The Seattle TimesJuly 13, 2014 

Mariners closer Fernando Rodney made one promise after learning Saturday he'd been added to the All-Star Game for the second time in his career.

"I'm going to have fun there," Rodney said. "You guys are going to see. I'm throwing my arrow. No matter what inning I'm going to pitch, I'm going to throw it."

Rodney will replace David Price, his former teammate at Tampa Bay, on the American League's roster. Rodney leads the American League in saves with 27, and after a rocky start in Seattle has settled down to become a steady roadblock at the end of games.

Rodney has a 1.98 ERA this season and has blown only two of his 29 save opportunities. But he's been even better as the season has progressed, in large part because he has thrown more strikes and gotten ahead in counts.

In his past 21 games, since blowing a save against Tampa Bay in mid-May, Rodney has a 0.90 ERA and has given up 10 hits in 20 innings while recording 20 strikeouts.

"I know I put up the numbers to be there," he said.

Rodney had plans to visit family, but he didn't mind altering those to join teammates Kyle Seager, Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano at the All-Star Game. It's the first time the Mariners have had four All-Stars since 2003.

"I'm happy," Rodney said. "I think that's the best moment for me right now. It's exciting."

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