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Official: Mark Melancon added to All-Star roster

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Joe Sargent

Notes from this morning's press meeting:

The Pirates may have two more All-Stars: Mark Melancon and Francisco Liriano. This afternoon Pirates' manager Clint Hurdle said he spoke to National League manager Bruce Bochy very "strongly" on behalf of two of his pitchers. "The numbers speak for themselves," he added, "I guess there will be another addition or two today, we'll see how it rolls."

The Pirates said they will receive an official press release from Major League Baseball later today.

* Tom Singer recounts an interesting and perhaps telling moment from this morning's press scrum on his blog.

UPDATE (1:30 p.m.): Mark Melancon and Sergio Romo have been added to the National League roster. They will replace inactive pitchers Jeff Locke and Jordan Zimmerman. Both Melancon and Romo are first-time All-Stars.

The Pirates now have five players on the National League roster. It is the first-time since 1972 that the franchise has sent that many. In 1972 the Pirates were represented by Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Steve Blass, Al Oliver and Manny Sanguillen.

Mark Melancon leads the National League in ERA, 0.81, and "shutdown" innings, 30.

* Justin Wilson is quickly becoming another important story coming out of the Pirates' bullpen. So far this season he has posted a 1.89 ERA and stranded 85.8 percent of runners who have reached base. The hard throwing left-hander was mostly a starter in the minors, but has been used exclusively out of the bullpen since coming up to the Majors. This morning Hurdle attributed Wilson's success to a "turning point" during Spring Training where he "realized the kind of guy he needed to be in order to be successful in that role." "There's still challenges out there for him if you dig deep in the numbers they're very self-evident," Hurdle said,"but also there's a lot of numbers that grab you're attention and make you say "wow" this kid's been special, and he has been."