- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ryan Zimmerman has earned a trip to his first All-Star Game. And Cristian Guzman could be headed back for the third time if the fans offer up one last vote for him.

Zimmermanwas selected as a reserve to the National League squad today.The young third baseman willtravel to St. Louis next week and participate in his first Midsummer Classic.

Zimmerman’s candidacy was built largely upon his hot start to the season. His 30-game hitting streak in April and early May garnered national headlines and brought attention to the 24-year-old face of the Nationals franchise. Zimmerman has slumped over the last month, though, and entered today’s game hitting .295 with 13 homers and 46 RBI. He’ll back up childhood friend David Wright at third base on the NL squad.

Zimmerman becomes the sixth different Nationals player to make the All-Star team since baseball returned to the District five years ago. He joins Chad Cordero and Livan Hernandez (2005), Alfonso Soriano (2006), Dmitri Young (2007) and Cristian Guzman (2008).

Guzman, who is batting .316 with 30 multi-hit games,still has a chance of cracking the roster. The shortstop, whomade the AL squad with theTwins in 2001,is one of five NL players up for the “Final Man” vote, along with the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp, the Diamondbacks’ Mark Reynolds, the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval and the Phillies’ Shane Victorino. Voting will take place online at MLB.com until 4 p.m. Thursday.

Outfielder Adam Dunn, who was hoping to make the team for the first time in his career after ranking among the league leaders in home runs (22) and RBI (59), was again left out.

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