Loaiza Selected to Start All-Star Game

(SN Report #569) - On Monday, White Sox ACE Esteban Loaiza was selected by all-star manager Mike Scioscia to start the all-star game on Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field. He will be opposing the San Fransisco Giants' Jason Schmidt for the National League.

Loaiza, 31, ranks in the top 10 in the AL in wins (11, 7th), ERA (2.21, 1st), strikeouts (106, 5th), winning percentage (.688, 8th), WHIP (1.06, 3rd), innings pitched (130.1, 7th) and batting average against (.223, 4th). This will be Loaiza's first all-star appearance.

After years of mediocrity, inconsistency and injury, Loaiza has seen his career take a turn for the best in his first season with the Sox, giving up two runs or less in 14 of his 19 starts.

Coming into the season, Loaiza had never won more than 11 games nor posted an ERA below 3.62. He is on pace to win 20-plus and throw over 200-plus innings, which will be another career first.

Shortly before spring training, Loaiza signed a minor league contract with the Sox, one that consisted of him getting $500,000 if he made the team out of spring training and a $3.5 million team option for 2004.

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