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Reds pitcher Gray replaces Nats' Scherzer in All-Star Game

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Washington (AFP)

Washington's Max Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner as top pitcher, will not compete in Tuesday's Major League Baseball All-Star Game, officials announced Sunday.

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Sonny Gray will join the National League lineup in Cleveland for the annual mid-season matchup against the American League.

Scherzer threw seven innings against visiting Kansas City on Saturday night, surrendering no runs and only four hits with one walk and 11 strikeouts in a 6-0 Nationals victory, his seventh consecutive win.

The 34-year-old right-hander will sit out of the All-Star Game to rest a sore back. He's not expected to pitch again until next Sunday at Philadelphia.

Seven-time All-Star Scherzer will travel to Cleveland to take part in the event's around the match but will not play.

Scherzer, named the National League Pitcher of the Month for June after going 6-0 in the span, is 9-5 this season with 181 strikeouts and a 2.30 earned-run average over 129 1/3 innings.

The Nationals, 46-42, are in a wild-card playoff spot in the National League and six games behind NL East division leader Atlanta.

Gray, a 29-year-old right-hander, is 5-5 this season with 17 saves for the Reds, who are 41-45 and last in the NL Central division but only 4.5 games behind the pace-setting Chicago Cubs.

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