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Fans name Varitek, Jenkins All-Stars

Boston catcher Jason Varitek and Milwaukee outfielder Geoff Jenkins won the Internet balloting for the final spots on their All-Star teams.

Varitek received 3,210,509 votes to beat White Sox DH Frank Thomas, Athletics outfielder Eric Byrnes, Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi and Angels catcher Bengie Molina for the 32nd spot on the AL team.

"It's a great honor. I hope I can represent my teammates well," Varitek said. "It's a huge compliment. I want to thank the fans in Boston. They are the ones that made the difference. It's just a great honor for anybody to have."

Varitek, batting .296 with 15 homers and 51 RBIs going into Wednesday's game, will be making his first All-Star appearance Tuesday in Chicago.

Giambi ended up making the team anyway. He was picked by AL manager Mike Scioscia as a replacement for the injured Mike Sweeney.

Jenkins received 2,872,200 votes to win the final spot on the NL team, beating Giants catcher Benito Santiago, Pirates centerfielder Kenny Lofton, Expos shortstop Orlando Cabrera and Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo.

"I'm probably the happiest man on the planet right now," Jenkins said.

Jenkins, who also will be making his first appearance, entered Wednesday's game batting .285 with 20 homers and 68 RBIs.

ANKIEL SIDELINED: Left-hander Rick Ankiel is out for the season with a torn ligament in his pitching elbow, short-circuiting his latest comeback attempt in the Cardinals' farm system.

Ankiel had elbow pain in his last outing, and an MRI exam revealed the tear. After consultation with team physician George Paletta, the treatment options were being considered.

His past two outings for Double-A Tennessee were his best of the season, seven-inning complete games in which he allowed four hits in 14 innings with five walks and 18 strikeouts.

MARINE MAKES PITCH: The Marine who covered the face of a Saddam Hussein statue with an American flag threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game between the Mets and Braves at Shea Stadium.

"I think this is amazing," Edward Chin said, standing near the Mets dugout before the game. "They're both once-in-a-lifetime experiences."

Chin, 23, of Brooklyn wrapped the flag around the statue's face in Baghdad on April 9.

_ TIMES WIRES

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