Keuchel needs fan support in AL Final Vote race

Cast ballot online, text 'A1' to 89269 or tweet #VoteKeuchel today for Astros ace

Keuchel needs fan support in AL Final Vote race

HOUSTON -- Was Dallas Keuchel's gritty performance Wednesday night in Arlington enough to get him a last push in the American League Final Vote to determine the lone remaining spot on the AL All-Star team?

Keuchel improved to 9-5 with a 3.20 ERA when he worked 6 2/3 innings and allowed four runs and eight hits to beat Yu Darvish and the Rangers, who were swept in three games by the Astros. Houston climbed out of last place in the AL West, just a percentage point ahead of Texas.

Over the final six hours, tweets using the designated hashtag #VoteKeuchel will be counted as part of his final vote tally. With races this close, fan support on Twitter during these final hours of online balloting could play a key role in determining which players take those final two All-Star roster spots.

Keuchel enters the day in fifth place among the five AL pitchers in the Final Vote. Chris Sale of the White Sox continues to outpace his fellow AL starting pitchers on the ballot. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo passed Justin Morneau of the Rockies and the two now are locked in a virtual tie in the National League, just ahead of Braves outfielder Justin Upton, as Rizzo holds a slim lead.

Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters on Sunday, fans began voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until the winners are announced after the voting concludes today at 3 p.m. CT.

Fans can also cast votes on the mobile web at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the Final Vote ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, fans can text their choice to 89269. For example: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Standard message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available, and fans should text their choices to 101010.

For the third consecutive year, the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote will include social balloting participation, as Twitter support from the 10 candidates' fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their final vote totals. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT today, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners. Fans will be able to follow @MLB for the latest standings updates over the course of the entire four-day voting period.

The hashtags and text designations are as follows:
AL nominees
Dallas Keuchel: #VoteKeuchel (A1)
Corey Kluber: #VoteKluber (A2)
Rick Porcello: #PickRick (A3)
Garrett Richards: #VoteGRich (A4)
Chris Sale: #TargetSale (A5)

NL nominees
Casey McGehee: #VoteHitsMcGehee (N1)
Justin Morneau: #VoteMorneau (N2)
Anthony Rendon: #VoteRendon (N3)
Anthony Rizzo: #VoteRizzo (N4)
Justin Upton: #VoteJUp (N5)

The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again allow fans to help choose 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 and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, 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 will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.