NEW YORK (AP) — Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson and Seattle designated hitter Nelson Cruz have moved ahead in fan voting for starting spots in the All-Star Game, leaving five Kansas City Royals still in the lead.
Major League Baseball released the results Monday, and voting continues through Thursday night. MLB said more than 500 million votes had been cast.
The starters will be announced Sunday, with the pitchers, reserves and candidates for the final spot to be presented Monday. The game is July 14 in Cincinnati.
Royals outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon, catcher Salvador Perez, shortstop Alcides Escobar and second baseman Omar Infante hold leads.
Infante is about 230,000 votes ahead of the Astros’ Jose Altuve going into Monday night’s series opener at Houston. Infante was hitting .237 with 23 RBIs and one steal while Altuve, last year’s major league batting champion, was at .292 with 30 RBIs and 21 stolen bases.
Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera and Angels outfielder Mike Trout also led in the American League.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and DH Kendrys Morales led last week, but were overtaken by Donaldson and Cruz. Donaldson has drawn over 11.7 million votes, already a record for any player in any season.
Donaldson made his All-Star debut in last year’s game in Minneapolis, starting at third base and sharing the left side of the infield with retiring Yankees star Derek Jeter.
“It was a moment I’ll never forget,” Donaldson said.
Finishing as baseball’s leading vote-getter this time around might just rival that memory.
“To be a starter, what that symbolizes is that you’re the best guy at that position,” Donaldson said. “It’s very humbling and it’s an honor.”
The National League leaders are: St. Louis third baseman Matt Carpenter, shortstop Jhonny Peralta and outfielder Matt Holliday, Miami outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and second baseman Dee Gordon, Washington outfielder Bryce Harper, San Francisco catcher Buster Posey and Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
Stanton has a broken hand is out four to six weeks. Nori Aoki of the Giants is fourth in the NL outfield voting, followed by Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen.
Harper is the top vote-getter in the NL with over 11.3 million.
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