Justin Steele

Birthday boy Justin Steele shines in All-Star Game debut

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It was a happy birthday for Chicago Cubs pitcher Justin Steele, as he made his All-Star Game debut in Seattle on Tuesday night.

Steele, who is 9-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 16 starts this season, was given the ball in the fifth inning of a tied contest at T-Mobile Park, and he made the most of the opportunity, giving the National League an inning of scoreless relief.

The now-28-year-old, who also celebrated his son’s first birthday on Tuesday, got Texas Rangers outfielder Adolis García to fly out in the first at-bat of the inning, then surrendered a single to Baltimore Orioles outfielder Austin Hays.

After Rangers third baseman Josh Jung grounded out to third, Steele got Rangers catcher Jonah Heim to strike out on a filthy slider to end the inning:

Steele has 81 strikeouts and 19 walks in 91.1 innings of work this season, and he showcased his stuff in efficient fashion, needing just 10 pitches to retire the side.

Unfortunately, Steele will not figure in the decision of the game, with the National League failing to score in the top of the sixth inning and Cincinnati Reds reliever Alexis Díaz surrendering a run in the bottom of the frame.

It has now been 36 years since a Cubs pitcher earned a win in the All-Star Game, with Lee Smith earning the victory in the 1987 edition of the game.

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