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Koji Uehara replaces Masahiro Tanaka on AL All-Star team

Jim Rogash

The Red Sox closer makes his first All-Star appearance at age 39.

Boston Red Sox closer Koji Uehara was named to the American League All-Star team as a replacement for the injured Masahiro Tanaka, Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday. The choice was made by Red Sox manager and AL All-Star skipper John Farrell, in conjunction with MLB.

The 2014 MLB All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis.

Tanaka was placed on the disabled list by the New York Yankees earlier on Wednesday with elbow inflammation, and is headed back to New York to meet with team doctors to discuss MRI results. Tanaka is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 18 starts for New York, with 135 strikeouts in his rookie campaign.

This is the first MLB All-Star selection for the 39-year-old Uehara, who was an eight-time All-Star in Japan. The right-hander is 4-2 with a 1.30 ERA and 18 saves in 40 games this season for the Red Sox, with 52 strikeouts and six walks in 41⅔ innings.

Since the beginning of the 2012 season, among all major league pitchers with at least 100 innings, Uehara ranks first in ERA (1.30), adjusted ERA+ (320) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (10.89).

Uehara joins teammate Jon Lester on the AL All-Star squad, giving the Red Sox two players making the trip to Minneapolis.

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