DETROIT -- For the third year in a row, the Tigers' dynamic hitting duo is headed to the All-Star Game. This time, however, the duo is different.
While Miguel Cabrera returns to the Midsummer Classic for his fifth straight selection, having been voted by fans for his second consecutive start, Victor Martinez was selected by players to be part of the American League bench.
"It's very special," said Cabrera, who easily beat out his closest competition at first base with 4,377,749 votes. "I appreciate the fans. We want to win, try to get home-field advantage for the World Series."
Though Martinez finished second to Orioles slugger Nelson Cruz for the fan vote at designated hitter, he won the player vote at DH, a nod of respect for a season that has seen him top the 20-homer mark by the midway point in the season while challenging for the league lead in hitting and filling the void left by Prince Fielder in the cleanup spot of the Tigers' batting order.
Whether Martinez takes part depends on his sore back, which kept him out for most of the past week. Even so, the honor was meaningful.
They'll be joined by Max Scherzer, who follows up last year's All-Star start with his second consecutive selection by players to the roster. He ended up being the only member of Detroit's vaunted rotation voted in by players this year, but he kept the streak alive for the Tigers' rotation, which has had at least one member on the team every year since 2009.
It also marks the sixth consecutive year that the Tigers have had at least three players on the All-Star roster.
They could get a fourth if fellow Tigers starter Rick Porcello can pull out a win in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian, though he'll have a tough field of starting pitchers to try to topple.
"We both said we were kind of on the fringe if we were going to make it or not," Scherzer said. "We were crossing our fingers for both. Hopefully our fans show up. We need our fans really to show up and vote Rick into the All-Star Game."
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Prior ASGs: 2004-07, '10-13
ASG W-L: 1-7
ASG stats: 2-for-12, one RBI
How he made 2014 AL team: Elected by fans
Why he's an All-Star: The two-time reigning AL MVP Award winner and three-time defending AL batting champion continues to be the workhorse in the revamped Tigers lineup. He ended the first half ranked in the AL's top 10 in batting average, OPS, slugging percentage, total bases, RBIs and runs scored, while showing renewed focus on defense in his return to first base.
DYK?: Though Cabrera and fellow All-Star Mike Trout have finished first and second in AL MVP Award voting the last two years, generating an abundance of fan debate over their merits, they consider themselves friends who admire each other's games.
Quotable: "We get to see the best players in the National League, American League. We're going to enjoy it."
Victor Martinez, DH
Prior ASGs: 2004, '07, '09-10
ASG W-L: 3-1
ASG stats: 1-for-2, one HR, two RBIs, one walk
How he made 2014 AL team: Player selection
Why he's an All-Star: Not only is the veteran switch-hitter enjoying some of the best run production of his career at age 35, he has filled the void in the middle of the Tigers' lineup left by Prince Fielder's trade to Texas. With more than 20 home runs before the All-Star break, he's nearly at his career high with a half-season to go.
DYK?: Martinez's 9-year-old son, Victor Jose, is a budding star hitter himself, switch-hitting and slashing line drives into the outfield at an early age. His dad often throws him batting practice on the field long before the game starts.
Quotable: "Believe it or not, man, last year watching the Home Run Derby, [Victor Jose] told me these words: 'Daddy, you better make it next year, because I don't want to see my butt on the couch watching the Home Run Derby on TV again.' I'm like, 'Really? It's that easy, kid?'"
Max Scherzer, RHP
Prior ASGs: 2013
ASG W-L: 1-0
ASG stats: one inning, no hits, no runs, one strikeout
How he made 2014 AL team: Player selection
Why he's an All-Star: Last year's AL All-Star starting pitcher has followed up his career season with another round of solid numbers, from double-digit wins to his first career complete game and shutout. He ranks among the league leaders in innings pitched and strikeouts.
DYK?: Scherzer has become an avid runner who runs a lot as part of his workout routine, both in-season and offseason. He frequently runs the steps and club levels of Comerica Park the day after his starts, and he often runs Camelback Mountain near his Scottsdale, Ariz., home during the winter.
Quotable: "It's such an honor to represent the American League in the All-Star Game. I'm so excited to be able to go there next week."
Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters on Sunday, fans began voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until the winners are announced after the voting concludes on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.