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Gagne, Lo Duca are All-Stars
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07/04/2004  7:00 PM ET
Gagne, Lo Duca are All-Stars
NL Cy Young winner named for third straight year
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As of Sunday, Eric Gagne has successfully saved a record 84 games in a row. (Chris Carlson/AP)

Record-setting closer Eric Gagne was named to the National League All-Star team on Sunday.

On Thursday, he was joined by batterymate Paul Lo Duca, who replaced Sean Casey after the Reds first baseman pulled out of the Midsummer Classic due to injury.

"I'm glad to be going back," said Gagne, who met reporters with his arm around set-up man Guillermo Mota. "It's a great honor. It's a great opportunity to perform, to have fun, to meet new people and to enjoy it."

Gagne becomes the first Dodger reliever to make three consecutive All-Star appearances. The 2003 National League Cy Young Award and Rolaids Relief Man winner has allowed solo home runs in each of the last two All-Star Games, the one Hank Blalock hit last year for a blown save and a solo home run by Alfonso Soriano in 2002.

2004 All-Star Game

"I'll probably give up another one this year," Gagne joked.

But in non-All-Star games, Gagne doesn't give anything up. He has converted all 21 of his save opportunities this year and 84 consecutively dating back to Aug. 28, 2002, a streak now being compared in difficulty to Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. Since Gagne's last blown save, there have been nearly 1,000 blown saves in the Major Leagues.

Gagne is one save shy of tying Jeff Shaw's Dodger franchise record of 129 and recently became the Majors' all-time Canadian-born saves leader. In mid-June, he saved four consecutive games and five of six. In addition to amassing 21 saves, Gagne is 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA, 49 strikeouts and nine walks in 35 innings.

The 28-year-old Gagne is in his fourth full season in the Major Leagues, but only became a closer shortly after the 2002 season opened. He has converted 128 of 132 save opportunities for a record .969 percentage.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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