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Kris Bryant, Craig Kimbrel named to National League All-Star team

Bryant leads the Cubs in most major offensive categories, including hits, extra-base hits and doubles. Kimbrel has a 0.59 ERA and 20 saves this season.

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

CINCINNATI — The Cubs will have two players at the All-Star Game on July 13 in Denver after third baseman Kris Bryant and closer Craig Kimbrel were named to the National League team Sunday.

Bryant, who will be making his fourth All-Star appearance, has had a bounce-back season and has led the Cubs offensively during the first half, slashing .272/.355/.511 with 16 home runs. He leads the team in hits, extra-base hits and doubles.

He also has given the Cubs a major boost with his versatility, starting 43 games in the outfield, 23 at third and eight at first.

‘‘It’s really cool to be recognized by your peers,’’ Bryant said. ‘‘I try to go out there every day and earn the respect of my opponents and my teammates. It definitely does feel really good when you hear that your peers are the ones that voted you in.’’

Kimbrel’s return to dominance has been one of the Cubs’ major storylines this season. He has been a force at the back end of their bullpen with a 0.59 ERA and 20 saves.

Kimbrel, the active saves leader in the majors with 368, has seen his velocity return to levels that made him one of the best closers of his generation. It’s his eighth All-Star selection and first since 2018.

‘‘I gotta thank all the guys that put me in position to get there, the relievers and starters who pitch before me to give me that opportunity to go in, throw innings that matter and get saves,’’ Kimbrel said.