Halladay to duel Weaver at start of All-Star Game

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay will start for the National League against Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jeff Weaver in Tuesday's Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the managers said on Monday.

Halladay, 11-3 with a 2.45 earned run average in 19 starts this season, enters the exhibition contest against the American League having not lost a game in nearly two months.

Halladay has picked up right where he left off in his first year in the National League, when he went 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA, threw a perfect game in the regular season, a no-hitter in the playoffs and won the NL Cy Young Award.

The 6-foot-7 (2.01m) Weaver was selected to the All-Star Game last year for the first time but did not participate because he pitched the Sunday before the Mid-Summer Classic.

Weaver said playing in an All-Star Game, was something you fantasized about as a kid.

"You're playing ball in the cul-de-sac -- I'm Pedro (Martinez) this time or I'm Roger (Clemens) this time, or whatever," Weaver said.

"For it to come full circle and to be a part of starting an All-Star Game is very surreal, and I'm looking forward to it."

Halladay will be facing a hard-hitting, left-handed heavy starting lineup that leads off with New York Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson, who has hit 25 home runs this season, and features team mate Robinson Cano batting eighth with a .296 average, 15 home runs and 57 runs batted in.

"You have Robinson Cano hitting eighth, so all I can say is, 'Watch out, Bruce,'" AL manager Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers said as a warning to NL counterpart Bochy.

Filling out the rest of the AL lineup are Asdrubal Cabrera (SS, Indians), Adrian Gonzalez (1B, Red Sox), Jose Bautista (RF, Blue Jays), Josh Hamilton (LF, Rangers), Adrian Beltre (3B, Rangers), David Ortiz (DH, Red Sox) and Alex Avila (C, Tigers).

The National League's Rickie Weeks, like Granderson, is a lead-off man with power (17 home runs) and speed.

"He's got great power, and he's really gotten better as a hitter with his discipline," said Bochy. "He has speed and can steal you a base, and he's one of those leadoff hitters you have to be careful with."

The rest of the NL lineup has Carlos Beltran (DH, Mets), Matt Kemp (CF, Dodgers), Prince Fielder (1B, Brewers), Brian McCann (C, Braves), Lance Berkman (RF, Cardinals), Matt Holliday (LF, Cardinals), Troy Tulowitzki (SS, Rockies) and Scott Rolen (3B, Reds).

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York, Editing by Frank Pingue)