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Twins hopefuls still in All-Star mix

Twins hopefuls still in All-Star mix

MINNEAPOLIS -- Two Twins players remained on the leaderboard as fans continue to elect starters for 76th All-Star game in Detroit.

Catcher Joe Mauer was ranked fifth among American League catchers this week with 188,785 votes. Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek was the leader with 909,843 votes, followed by Ivan Rodriguez of the Tigers (642,860), Jorge Posada of the Yankees (442,136) and the Orioles' Javy Lopez (311,876).

Mauer, the overall No. 1 pick of the 2001 draft and a St. Paul native, was batting .299 with five home runs and 21 RBIs through 46 games this season.

Center fielder Torii Hunter was in seventh place among AL outfielders with 418,768 votes. Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez (1,028,207), the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki (992,250) and the Angels' Vladimir Guerrero (933,693) were the top three outfielders and would start if balloting ended today.

Along with right fielder Jacque Jones (141,332), who is in 14th place, Hunter has been one of the Twins' hottest hitters lately, batting .278 with 10 home runs and 39 RBIs in 58 games.

Fan voting will determine starting position players for the 2005 All-Star Game on July 12 at Detroit's Comerica Park. Voters online can cast their votes up to 25 times in the Ameriquest All-Star Online Ballot, which is available exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 of the club sites. Paper ballots also are being punched at each Major League ballpark.

In-stadium voting at the Metrodome ends June 17, but fans can continue to vote online through June 30.

Mark Sheldon 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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