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Brett Gardner replaces Alex Gordon on AL All-Star team

NEW YORK -- Brett Gardner didn't need to campaign, and it turns out he didn't need your votes. The New York Yankees outfielder is going to the All-Star Game anyway.

Gardner was named to the American League team Thursday after a spot opened up when Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals went on the disabled list. Gordon suffered a severe groin strain while trying to run down a fly ball on Wednesday night and is expected to miss eight weeks.

Gardner has had an All-Star-type season, with a .378 on-base percentage in 78 games entering play Thursday. He hit his 10th home run of the season in the first inning Thursday against the Oakland Athletics.

Three innings later, the Yankees announced that Gardner was on the All-Star team -- without telling him first.

"I was definitely excited, and definitely surprised," Gardner said. "It caught me off guard. I was playing catch with Jacoby [Ellsbury between innings]. I saw the camera on me and I thought that was random. It completely caught me off guard."

Left off the original team on Monday night, Gardner was named as one of five candidates in the All-Star Final Vote. He said he wouldn't campaign for votes, feeling it would be out of character, and in voting updates released by MLB on Thursday morning, Gardner was fourth among the five AL candidates.

But now the voting no longer matters for Gardner.

"I'll be 32 years old next month, and this is my first All-Star Game," he said. "I don't know how many more chances I'll get."

He's got this one, and by the end of the Yankees' 6-2 win over the A's, Gardner already had an American League All-Star batting practice jersey hanging over the chair in front of his locker.

"I've never had a jersey with my name on the back before," he said. "I'm not saying the Yankees should change and do that, but it's pretty special."


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