WASHINGTON (AP) – Pedro Martinez pulled out of the All-Star game on Thursday, saying he wouldn’t be able to take the mound in the exhibition because he’ll start for the New York Mets two days earlier.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who will lead the NL team in Tuesday’s All-Star game at Detroit, was informed of Martinez’s decision Thursday morning, Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said.

Phillies reliever Billy Wagner was added to the NL All-Star roster.

Martinez is scheduled to start Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“To be honest, I want to play. I wanted to go because it’s my first year with the Mets,” Martinez said after New York’s 3-2 victory over Washington on Thursday.

“I would love to go if I would get at least one more day of rest. With just one day in between games, I can’t pitch like it’s a regular game. I don’t want to hurt myself up there. I would like to compete, but if not, let somebody else go get the opportunity.”

The Mets right-hander is 9-3 with a 2.80 ERA and leads the National League with 129 strikeouts. He finished third among NL pitchers in player voting.

Mets manager Willie Randolph and general manager Omar Minaya said they supported Martinez’s choice to skip the All-Star game.

“That’s Pedro’s decision,” Randolph said. “That’s just the way it is.”

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