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Cubs: Rizzo deserves to be first-time All-Star

Cubs: Rizzo deserves to be first-time All-Star

CHICAGO -- Anthony Rizzo has 14 home runs since April 30, the most in the National League in that stretch, and the Cubs are hoping it's enough to get the first baseman into the All-Star Game for the first time in his young career.

"He's been through a lot in his life -- he beat cancer at a young age, bounced back from that," said Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. "I'll never forget that he hit a double in his first at-bat back on the field against a rehabbing big leaguer [after cancer].

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"He's been traded twice, went through a tough couple months in the big leagues, bounced back," Epstein said. "He's already overcome so much and deserves to be where he is. I hope he's rewarded for it."

On Thursday, Rizzo posted his sixth game of three or more hits this season. According to Elias, the only first basemen with more three-hit games this season are the Braves' Freddie Freeman (nine) and the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera (eight).

Rizzo could be joined at the July 15 All-Star Game in Minneapolis by Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, who has 21 RBIs in June, third most in the NL. Castro is the fourth Cubs shortstop to reach at least 21 RBIs in the month of June, joining Hall of Famer Ernie Banks (1959, '60), Roy Smalley ('50) and Shawon Dunston ('88).

"He's lucky -- he gets to hit behind me," Rizzo said, jokingly, about Castro, who has thrived in the No. 4 spot behind Rizzo since moving there April 25. "He's done a great job. He's not trying to hit home runs or anything. It's not about that, it's about getting on base and letting other guys do the job."

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on FOX.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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