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Marlins seeing some All-Star love

Marlins seeing some All-Star love

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The popularity that Paul Lo Duca enjoyed in Los Angeles seems to have followed him to Florida.

After the first wave of All-Star voting results, the veteran catcher ranks second to Mike Piazza of the Mets in votes for backstops.

A two-time All-Star with Los Angeles, Lo Duca -- who has received 291,123 votes to Piazza's 447,259 -- is positioned to make his third trip to the Midsummer Classic, to be played July 12 in Detroit, in his first full season with the Marlins.

Lo Duca, first baseman Carlos Delgado and outfielder Miguel Cabrera are receiving the most votes among the Marlins' eight regulars on the ballot.

Delgado, the prize free agent pickup in January, is fifth among National League first basemen. Albert Pujols of the Cardinals paces that position.

Cabrera, the 22-year-old sensation, is primed to make the All-Star Game for the second straight season. A year ago, he was one of four Marlins to take part in the game.

Cabrera is currently fifth in the voting for outfielders.

Voting for this year's All-Star Game starters is ongoing at both floridamarlins.com and MLB.com.

The Marlins likely will be strongly represented in Detroit, with pitcher Dontrelle Willis, who is 8-2, in line to make his second All-Star appearance. The pitching staff is chosen by the manager, however, and not by fan voting.

Cabrera is among the National League leaders in batting average. Delgado, who was voted in as a starter at first base while with Toronto in 2003, has been hitting better than .300 most of the season.

All eight Marlins regulars are on the ballot. Third baseman Mike Lowell has been to the All-Star Game three straight seasons, the most ever by a Marlin. Second baseman Luis Castillo is a two-time All-Star.

Alex Gonzalez is a Gold Glove-caliber shortstop, and his batting average has been on the rise. Right fielder Juan Encarnacion has led the Marlins in RBIs for most of the season, and Juan Pierre is one of the top leadoff hitters in the league, although he's started off slowly.

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

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