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AL All-Star outfield race primed for gripping finish

AL All-Star outfield race primed for gripping finish

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AL All-Star outfield race primed for gripping finish

With All-Star voting in its final days, change has come to the American League starting outfield. But the polls will remain open through Thursday, and this is definitely one race that's too close to call.

Based on results released Monday, Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays became the third outfielder in three weeks to sit in the coveted No. 3 position, the final starting spot in the outfield. The Toronto slugger hasn't won anything yet, though, and both the Orioles' Nick Markakis and the Tigers' Torii Hunter are hot on his trail for the spot they each held earlier in the balloting.

As voting continues for a frenzied final few days, Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera continues to march toward one of the top voting totals of all-time, leading the overall vote at 5,844,165, with Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, holding a huge lead at his position, continuing to stalk him with 5,468,703 votes.

Elsewhere on the ballot, Mike Trout of the Angels overtook Adam Jones for the top spot among outfielders, while second baseman Robinson Cano of the Yankees, shortstop J.J. Hardy of the Orioles, catcher Joe Mauer of the Twins and designated hitter David Ortiz of the Red Sox all held on to the top spots at their respective positions.


The clock is ticking, but the votes can still make a difference, especially in the drum-tight race for the final AL outfield spot.

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via mobile devices -- using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Fans may submit 25 online ballots during the voting period but can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, fans must be logged into an MLB.com account when submitting any online ballot. To obtain an account, visit MLB.com and register in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free account.

The dynamics of the outfield race have changed by the week, with Trout (4,822,983) and Jones (4,766,256) trading the lead with totals that have them all but written into the AL lineup for the July 16 game at Citi Field in New York. But, this week, it was Bautista -- only two years removed from being the Major Leagues' overall top vote-getter -- who made the biggest move.

Bautista entered the top three with a tally of 2,679,230 votes, giving him a final-week edge over Markakis (2,536,864) and Hunter (2,390,336). The Rangers' Nelson Cruz and the Orioles' Nate McLouth remain in contention, not far behind.

Cabrera, heading toward an eighth All-Star appearance, remains within striking distance of Bautista's then-record total of 7,454,753 in 2011, and Davis, seeking his first All-Star appearance, isn't far behind. The Orioles' Manny Machado is No. 2 to Cabrera at third, and the Tigers' Prince Fielder is second to Davis at first, but the two slugging leaders are in all-time territory. Josh Hamilton set the all-time overall vote mark at 11,073,744 last year.

Hoping for a fourth straight All-Star start, Cano (3,974,322) maintains a solid lead over Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox at second base, and Hardy (3,509,180) is ahead of the Tigers' Jhonny Peralta at short, where, incidentally, Toronto's Jose Reyes entered the top five while knocking out the Yankees' Derek Jeter.

At catcher, Mauer (3,869,330) is in position to make his first start since 2010, with the Orioles' Matt Wieters behind him, and David Ortiz (4,398,197) remains in line for a third straight starting assignment as he holds a sizable lead over the Rangers' Lance Berkman.

The clock is ticking toward the end of the process to vote in the game's starters, but there's still time to vote, and there will be other ways to vote, too.

Fans once again also can participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2013 Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 15.

Though originally scheduled for July 7, the 2013 rosters will now be unveiled Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell. The show will be televised nationally on FOX.

From Saturday to Thursday, July 11, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote, sponsored by freecreditscore.com, to help name the final player for each league's All-Star roster.

And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

AMERICAN LEAGUE ALL-STAR VOTING
(as of July 1)

CATCHER
Joe Mauer, Twins: 3,869,330
Matt Wieters, Orioles: 2,677,959
A.J. Pierzynski, Rangers: 1,441,827
Carlos Santana, Indians: 1,285,650
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox: 1,256,505

FIRST BASE
Chris Davis, Orioles: 5,468,703
Prince Fielder, Tigers: 3,280,681
Albert Pujols, Angels: 1,140,420
Mike Napoli, Red Sox: 1,123,281
Mitch Moreland, Rangers: 1,007,675

SECOND BASE
Robinson Cano, Yankees: 3,974,322
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox: 2,838,129
Ian Kinsler, Rangers: 1,767,806
Omar Infante, Tigers: 1,554,514
Jose Altuve, Astros: 1,227,462

THIRD BASE
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: 5,844,165
Manny Machado, Orioles: 2,752,627
Adrian Beltre, Rangers: 1,792,809
Evan Longoria, Rays: 1,528,877
Josh Donaldson, Athletics: 827,381

SHORTSTOP
J.J. Hardy, Orioles: 3,509,180
Jhonny Peralta, Tigers: 2,505,348
Elvis Andrus, Rangers: 2,122,770
Jed Lowrie, Athletics: 1,491,376
Jose Reyes, Blue Jays: 1,091,707

DESIGNATED HITTER
David Ortiz, Red Sox: 4,398,197
Lance Berkman, Rangers: 2,004,388
Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays: 1,688,099
Victor Martinez, Tigers: 1,257,577
Mark Trumbo, Angels: 1,190,709

OUTFIELD
Mike Trout, Angels: 4,822,983
Adam Jones, Orioles: 4,766,256
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays: 2,679,230
Nick Markakis, Orioles: 2,536,864
Torii Hunter, Tigers: 2,390,336
Nelson Cruz, Rangers: 2,258,797
Nate McLouth, Orioles: 2,169,772
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox: 1,751,022
Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics: 1,556,700
Coco Crisp, Athletics: 1,421,277
Alex Gordon, Royals: 1,416,887
Austin Jackson, Tigers: 1,306,330
Josh Hamilton, Angels: 1,138,518
Shane Victorino, Red Sox: 1,059,429
Ichiro Suzuki, Yankees: 1,003,198

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

{"event":["all_star" ] }
{"event":["all_star" ] }
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