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Merced native Brian Fuentes to pitch at tonight's All-Star Game

Los Angeles Angels' closer Brian Fuentes pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, April 6, 2009. (AP Photo/Mark Avery)
Los Angeles Angels' closer Brian Fuentes pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, April 6, 2009. (AP Photo/Mark Avery) AP

Merced native and Angels closer Brian Fuentes will make his fourth All-Star Game appearance tonight.

Fuentes said he will pitch the sixth inning of tonight's game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, according to discussions with American League manager Joe Maddon.

The game will be broadcasted on Fox. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.

"This is a huge honor," said Fuentes, who leads the major leagues in saves with 26 and made three All-Star appearances as a member of the Rockies.

"I didn't get the opportunity to go last year, so that was disappointing. Switching leagues, coming over to the AL, it's nice to have pitched well enough to be elected."

Family and friends have flown into St. Louis to watch "Tito" and his unorthodox sidearm delivery challenge the best National League hitters.

"A lot of family and friends were able to make it out here," Fuentes said. "It's nice to be surrounded by the ones you care about the most. It can be hectic, a little crazy, but it's still worth it."

After a rocky start to the season, Fuentes has converted 21 of his last 22 save opportunities.

The National League owns a 40-37-2 advantage in the all-time series, but the AL is unbeaten in the last 12 meetings.

The only non-victory for the AL was a 7-7 tie in 2002. The game was called after 11 innings.

"I just want to get in, have a good outing and get home-field advantage for the American League," Fuentes said.

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