Mike Matheny had quite the choice for the National League's All-Star starter.
There was his own Adam Wainwright, the St. Louis Cardinals ace with a 12-4 record and a 1.83 ERA.
And there was the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw, 11-2 with a 1.78 ERA and fresh from a 41-inning scoreless streak that ended last week.
Matheny chose Wainwright, who will start Tuesday night at Target Field against the Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez.
"It's going to be great catching them," said Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy, the N.L. starter behind the plate. "A lot more fun than facing them."
When baseball's elite met at Citi Field last year, N.L. batters managed just three hits in a 3-0 loss. A year earlier in Kansas City, the A.L. had just six hits in an 8-0 defeat.
Never before had consecutive All-Star games ended in shutouts.
"Guys are throwing harder. Guys have more pitches," said Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley, making his sixth All-Star appearance and first since 2010.
The big league batting average is at a 42-year low. Strikeouts are at an all-time high.
Wainwright and Kershaw are on track to become the first pair of qualifying pitchers in one league with a sub-2.00 ERA since the Mets' Dwight Gooden and the Cardinals' John Tudor in 1985 -- the last time Minnesota hosted the All-Stars.
"Aside from having the ability to win two World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals, I think this has to be one of the highlights of my baseball career to this point," Wainwright said. "One of the coolest things I can say I did is to start a big league All-Star game."
Kershaw understood Matheny's decision.
"If I'm him, I'm probably going to pick Adam, too. It's his guy and he had the best half," Kershaw said.
Hernandez, the first Venezuela pitcher to start for the All-Stars, also has sterling credentials: an 11-2 record with a 2.12 ERA. He described his task pretty simply:
"Just throw zeros out there and get my team to win. That's all I got to do," he said.
In addition to pitchers, the spotlight will be on New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter. The shortstop, who turned 40 last month, is playing his final season and was selected for his 14th All-Star game.
Yankees: Alex Rodriguez faces a new challenge: He is being sued by his own lawyer.
Attorney David Cornwell's law firm filed papers in Manhattan federal court saying the New York star owes more than $380,000 related to their work fighting his steroid suspension. As first reported by The Daily News, the firm also is seeking prejudgment interest and attorney fees that could increase the amount to half a million dollars.
Rodriguez was suspended for the 2014 season as a result of a drug investigation by Major League Baseball.
A's: Right fielder Josh Reddick was 4 for 4 with a solo home run, a double and three runs scored for the Single-A Stockton Ports during a rehab assignment. Reddick is on the 15-day disabled list with a knee injury. The Ports beat the visiting San Jose Giants 11-1.
Diamondbacks: The team recalled former A's right-hander Trevor Cahill from Triple-A Reno and optioned right-hander Mike Bolsinger.
Cahill was designated for assignment by Arizona earlier this season after going 1-6 with a 5.66 ERA. He was optioned to Reno on June 12. He went 2-2 with a 3.49 ERA in six starts with the Aces.
Ruth contract sold: Babe Ruth's 1918 contract with the Boston Red Sox sold at auction for $1.02 million, more than 200 times his salary for that season, when he won a World Series title and began to make the transition from pitcher to slugger.
Ruth signed a contract for $5,000 during the 1918 season -- a raise from his $3,500 salary in 1917.
Bloomberg News contributed to this report.