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Dodgers’ Mookie Betts opts out of All-Star game, but Walker Buehler, Justin Turner get in

Dodgers starter Walker Buehler delivers a pitch
Dodgers starter Walker Buehler delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler and third baseman Justin Turner have been added to the National League roster as replacements for Tuesday night’s All-Star game in Denver, but outfielder Mookie Betts has opted out of the game because of injury.

Betts said Tuesday that he was surprised to be chosen by his peers as an NL reserve after what he labeled a “bad” first half in which he has hit .245 with a .799 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, 11 homers, 21 doubles and 33 RBIs.

A five-time All-Star and the 2018 American League most valuable player with the Boston Red Sox, Betts has battled shoulder, wrist and back injuries this season.

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom, Houston Astros stars Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley, San Diego Padres ace Yu Darvish and San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey have also bowed out of the game because of injuries.

“Obviously, I haven’t played that great, so I was definitely surprised but also very thankful for making the team,” Betts said. “We have another half, and I’ll try to turn it around and get things rolling and help the team get some more wins.”

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Buehler has an 8-1 record and 2.49 ERA in 17 starts, with 107 strikeouts and 24 walks in 108 1/3 innings, entering Saturday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. This is the right-hander’s second All-Star selection.

Justin Turner and Max Muncy make rare errors and the bullpen falters in a 5-2 loss to the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.

Turner, 36, is batting .302 with an .881 OPS, 14 homers and 45 RBIs in 82 games. This is also his second All-Star selection. He and Buehler will join first baseman Max Muncy and utility man Chris Taylor on the NL roster.

Dave Roberts, who guided the Dodgers to the 2020 World Series championship, will manage the NL club in the All-Star game for the third time. While the allure of the event might have dimmed for some stars who prefer to use the break to rest up for the second half and spend time with families, it has not in the eyes of Roberts.

“It’s still a tremendous experience, a tremendous honor,” Roberts said. “It’s the one time each year that fans can see the stars all in one place. I remember being a young kid and watching the All-Star game and being in awe.

“So now, to be able to address the NL All-Stars, to have the coaches there to experience it, to be a part of it is mind-blowing, it really is. For me personally, to go to the White House a week ago and now managing the All-Star game, it’s been quite the ride, and I never take it for granted.”

Justin Turner slaps hands with Mookie Betts.
The Dodgers’ Justin Turner, right, is congratulated by Mookie Betts after hitting a two-run home run against the Giants.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)


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