- Associated Press - Sunday, July 11, 2010

ANAHEIM, CALIF. (AP) - To heck with his banged-up shoulder, Joe Mauer is headed to the All-Star game. Or rather, the All-Scar game.

Atlanta rookie Jason Heyward became the latest guy to join the dropout list Sunday. NL manager Charlie Manuel wanted Billy Wagner as a replacement _ no good, the Braves closer passed because of a sore ankle.

The likes of Mariano Rivera, Chase Utley and Dustin Pedroia already were sidelined for Tuesday night’s game at Angel Stadium. Then achy All-Stars Justin Morneau and Jose Reyes announced this weekend they were out, too.

Boston third baseman Adrian Beltre could be the next one marked absent. He left Sunday’s game at Toronto with a strained left hamstring.

“If I don’t feel good I won’t play,” Beltre said. “I don’t want to screw up my season for a couple of at-bats in an exhibition game.”

Mauer will play, although the Minnesota catcher sat out Sunday’s game at Detroit after recently taking three foul tips off his right shoulder. The reigning AL MVP drew a major league-leading 5 million votes in fan balloting for starting spots.

“Am I feeling great? No, and I could use a couple days off, but I’m able to go out there and play, so I’ll be there,” Mauer said Sunday.

“It’s sore, and I’m getting a day off today, but it isn’t going to keep me from going out to Anaheim,” he said.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire might prefer Mauer go in a different direction.

“If I had my druthers as a manager, he’d be fishing with me in northern Minnesota _ I know his shoulder would be fine there,” he said. “But it is a great honor to play, especially when you’ve been voted in by the fans. I wish they had three catchers, though.”

“I would really like to see baseball give everyone the four-day break,” he said.

Gardenhire said he was offered a coaching spot by AL manager Joe Girardi of the Yankees, but declined. “I told him I already had a reservation with some walleyes,” he said.

Morneau will miss out because of a concussion. The Twins slugger will spend the days off resting in Minnesota.

Reyes pulled out when his sore right side acted up. He intends to take part in the All-Star festivities _ nine of his family members are set to be in Anaheim, plus his New York Mets open the second half in San Francisco.

“I tried to play through it. I think the next couple of days, rest for me I think is going to help a lot,” he said.

Boston pitcher Clay Buchholz, Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez, Milwaukee pitcher Yovani Gallardo and Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki also made the All-Star team but aren’t able to play.

The hurts, however, helped a few others to make the roster.

Pitchers Andy Pettitte of the Yankees and Hong-Chih Kuo of the Dodgers, closers Heath Bell of San Diego and Rafael Soriano of Tampa Bay, second basemen Ian Kinsler of Texas and Brandon Phillips of Cincinnati, Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal, White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko and Toronto catcher John Buck were picked as injury replacements.

“I’ll do everything I can to get everyone in,” Girardi said.

Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander became a late addition Sunday. He joined the AL staff because of a new rule _ pitchers who start on Sunday are ruled out for the showcase. So when CC Sabathia and Trevor Cahill threw Sunday, a couple of spots opened up and Verlander got one.

“I absolutely want to go _ the All-Star game is the All-Star game, no matter how you get there,” he said.


AP Sports Writer Tim Booth and AP freelance writer Dave Hogg in Detroit contributed to this report.

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