By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox InsiderFollow @sean_mcadam
HOUSTON -- Four Red Sox players -- two voted by the fans, two chosen by players -- will represent the club at the All-Star Game July 12 in Phoenix.
First baseman Adrian Gonzalez and DH David Ortiz were voted by fans, with starter Josh Beckett and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury added as part of the players' voting process.
Ellsbury's selection is his first. Ortiz will be making his seventh appearance, with Beckett going for the third time and Gonzalez the fourth.
This marks the seventh straight year that the Red Sox have sent at least four players to the game.
"I thought we'd have more,'' said manager Terry Francona.
Jon Lester, with 10 wins, was the most notable Red Sox omission.
"Representing the Red Sox once again is an honor,'' said Ortiz who will making his fifth start as an All-Star. "It's fun (to take part in). It's something the fans really enjoy. Those few days, you really get worn out, but it's worth it because the fans put a lot of enthusiasm into it.''
"I can't really put into words how I feel right now,'' said Ellsbury, "but I'm definitely excited. It's an honor to be elected to be your peers, to get rewarded for your accomplishments on the field. I knew it was a possibility. It's exciting. I'm looking forward to it.''
Ellsbury, who missed all but 18 games last season with broken ribs, said he was particularly gratified that the work he put into getting back on the field has paid off.
"He came hungry this year,'' said Ortiz of Ellsbury. "He's a guy who cares about doing good and helping the ballclub. Watching him go to his first All-Star game, I'm proud of him and hopefully, we'll see another
10, 12 more (trips).''
"To get back, like I have this year, is very special,'' Ellsbury said.
"It would have been very special any time you're elected to an All-Star game, but to be elected by your peers is very special.''
"I'm really happy for Ells,'' said Francona. "I think this kind of means a lot to him; (it says that) he's kind of arrived. He's been playing like he wants to show people how good he is.''
"It's always good (to be chosen),'' said Gonzalez. "It's great to make an All-Star game. It's nice to be able to represent the Red Sox.''
Gonzalez, who led the majors in RBI (74), total bases (200) and extra-base hits (46), will be starting the game for the first time.
"That will be fun,'' he said. "You get to get a few extra at-bats and enjoy it as the the rest of the guys finish up the game.''
A number of other Red Sox players were thought to be under consideration, including third baseman Kevin Youkilis (tied for sixth in the A.L. in RBI), second baseman Dustin Pedroia (seventh in OBP) and Lester, who has 10 wins, second-most in the league.
"Obviously, it's a honor to be a part of it,'' said Lester, "but it's also nice to get the down time sometimes. Is it nice to go? Yeah. Is it disappointing not to go? Yes. But at the same time, like I said, it's nice to get a break.''
"We're a team full of talent,'' said Gonzalez. "We had a few guys who made it and a few guys who deserved to. You experience this with every team -- there's always guys that should have made it than didn't. A team like this where you have not just a few but plenty of guys who should be in it, that's just the way the game is.''