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All-Stars Align for Youthful Pitchers

At 42, pitcher Tim Wakefield is a first-time All-Star, the second oldest - behind Satchel Paige - to earn such an honor.

But when the Boston Red Sox knuckleballer gets to St. Louis for the 80th All-Star Game next week, he'll be surrounded by on-the-rise pitching stars on both teams. Of the 26 pitchers named Sunday to the National and American league rosters, 10 are 26 or younger.

The AL's Felix Hernandez, 23, of the Seattle Mariners is the All-Star Game's youngest. The Kansas City Royals' Zack Greinke, who leads the majors in ERA (2.00) and is tied for the victories lead (10), is 25.

The NL has an impressive array of young power arms, including the San Francisco Giants' Tim Lincecum (25) and Matt Cain (24), the Florida Marlins' Josh Johnson (25) and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Chad Billingsley (24) and Jonathan Broxton (25).

"I like our pitching staff," NL manager Charlie Manuel of the Philadelphia Phillies said Sunday.

The St. Louis Cardinals, hosting July 14 for the first time since 1966, have three All-Stars, led by Albert Pujols, who had an NL-record 5.3 million votes. The Red Sox lead all teams with six All-Stars. The New York Mets' four leads NL teams.

The game's winner will give its representative home-field advantage in the World Series. The AL has an 11-0-1 unbeaten streak, longest in All-Star history. The NL last won in 1996 in Philadelphia.

For the first time, rosters expanded to 33. The final spot on each roster will be decided by online balloting.

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