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Fans continue to support outfielders

Fans continue to support Phillies outfield

PHILADELPHIA -- Third place and holding for Bobby Abreu as voting for the All-Star Game continues online and in Major League ballparks around the country.

Abreu has cooled since his spectacular May earned him Player-of-the-Month honors. He has four homers this month and is hitting .323 overall, and is well-deserving of the trip to Detroit.

He trails New York's Carlos Beltran and St. Louis' Jim Edmonds.

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Abreu has made up a lot of ground in June, thanks to a generous portion of home games. The 31-year-old, who was elected as the 32nd man last season, is having a season worthy of first-ballot consideration.

Pat Burrell continued to slip, falling to 12th among NL outfielders in the results released Wednesday.

Getting voted in as an outfielder has always been a daunting task considering the sheer talent throughout the league, especially with names like Barry Bonds, Edmonds, Larry Walker, Ken Griffey Jr. and Sammy Sosa dominating the ballot boxes in the past. But Sosa is in the American League now, with Baltimore, and Bonds hasn't played this season.

Still, Burrell is having just as productive a season as Abreu is, batting .329 with 14 homers and 55 RBIs, third in the NL.

An argument could be made that both Abreu and Burrell deserve a place on the squad, even if they don't get voted in. Abreu made his first All-Star appearance last season, and wants to go back. Burrell has never gone.

"Both deserve it," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Bobby is the one who really got our offense flowing, and kept us (in contention). But Pat's been consistent from Day 1. Both have been valuable to our offense."

Abreu makes no secret of his desire to go to Detroit for the Midsummer Classic, to be played July 12.

"It's important to go back," Abreu said. "I had such a good time last year, and I'd like to have it again. It was a beautiful experience. I want to go to Detroit."

Ken Mandel 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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