HOUSTON -- The best team in Major League Baseball will be well-represented at next week's All-Star Game in Miami, with the Astros landing five players on the American League squad, including starters Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer.
Altuve will start at second base for the third year in a row and is making his fifth All-Star appearance, four of which have come in the AL. Correa (shortstop) and Springer (outfield) were voted to start by the fans, marking the first time the Astros have had three starters as a result of fan voting.
"You have to appreciate what the fans do for you to make this dream come true," said Altuve, who's hitting .326 with 11 homers, 40 RBIs and 16 steals. "I'm sure it was a dream for George and for Carlos, as well. It was my dream. All we can say is thanks for the fans and we're going to do everything we can to make them proud."
Starting pitchers Dallas Keuchel (9-0, 1.67 ERA) and Lance McCullers Jr. (7-1, 2.69 ERA) were both selected, marking the second selection for Keuchel, who started the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati. He's injured and won't pitch. McCullers will be on the All-Star team for the first time.
Altuve will become the second player in club history to start three consecutive All-Star games, joining Craig Biggio, who started four consecutive games at second base from 1995-98. Altuve's five All-Star nods are the tied for the second-most in club history with Lance Berkman, behind only Biggio's seven.
"It never gets old," Altuve said. "You're always going to feel happy about making the All-Star Game, but this one is better because I have four guys going with me."
The five players match the most the Astros have had in one All-Star Game (1994). The Indians, Yankees and Nationals also had five players selected this year.
"It's pretty special to be part of this whole group," McCullers said. "We've got a lot of guys in there who also deserved to be recognized as All-Stars, and hopefully there's still time to get some of those guys in there as well."
Correa, who is hitting .319 with 17 homers and 58 RBIs, outdistanced follow Puerto Rican Francisco Lindor of the Indians to win the vote at shortstop.
"It's really special," he said. "Obviously, it's something you dreamed of since you were a little kid, since you get drafted, since you signed a contract. I get to share the field with these guys in the All-Star Game and it's going to be something I'll never forget."
Springer, who is hitting .287 with 24 homers and 52 RBIs from the leadoff spot, finished third among AL outfielders behind Aaron Judge of the Yankees and Mike Trout of the Angels.