Roberts, AL leader in batting average and slugging percentage, and who has a career-high 11 home runs, holds a 42,000-vote edge over Texas' Alfonso Soriano.
Boston's Mark Bellhorn, the Yankees' Tony Womack and Seattle's Bret Boone trail Roberts and Soriano."He is having an incredible season," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said of Roberts. "It's almost like you expect him to be on base all the time. We miss him desperately when he's not in the lineup." Mazzilli doesn't have to worry about Miguel Tejada missing playing time. He has played in 813 consecutive games through Sunday and leads all AL shortstops in All-Star voting. Tejada has been to two All-Star Games but has never started one. Tejada, who is among the league leaders in RBIs, is in front of the Yankees' Derek Jeter, 713,587 to 587,109. Boston's surging Edgar Renteria, Detroit's Carlos Guillen and Texas' Michael Young are also in the running. Melvin Mora, who has been overshadowed by the success of Roberts and Tejada, has moved up a notch to third place in voting among third basemen. Mora trails New York's Alex Rodriguez and Boston's Bill Mueller. Seattle's Adrian Beltre and Texas' Hank Blalock trail Mora. Javy Lopez, who is injured but would be healthy enough to play in the All-Star Game, trails Boston's Jason Varitek, Detroit's Ivan Rodriguez and New York's Jorge Posada among catchers. With his recent hot streak, Rafael Palmeiro is gaining votes in the designated hitter category. He is third, only about 4,000 votes behind the Yankees' Jason Giambi, but well behind Boston's David Ortiz, who has garnered 958,811 votes. Meanwhile, Sammy Sosa, a perennial All-Star in the National League, is ninth among outfielders in the AL. Boston's Manny Ramirez, Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki and the Angels' Vladimir Guerrero lead that category.
Gary Washburn is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less