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O's could have two All-Star starters

O's could have two All-Star starters

It appears as if the Orioles are close to having two starters in this year's All-Star Game on July 12 in Detroit.

Shortstop Miguel Tejada and second baseman Brian Roberts lead their respective positions with just two weeks left in the voting. Tejada has been to two All-Star Games but has never started, while Roberts has emerged as the league's top second baseman with a career-best 11 home runs.

Tejada is among the league leaders in home runs, RBIs and batting average, and Roberts has led the American League in batting average for the majority of the season.

Roberts, with 1,159,241 votes, has maintained his All-Star balloting lead over Texas' Alfonso Soriano, Boston's Mark Bellhorn, New York's Tony Womack and Chicago's Tadahito Iguchi.

Tejada has 1,356,842 votes and is leading New York's Derek Jeter, AL newcomer Edgar Renteria of Boston, Detroit's steady Carlos Guillen and underrated Michael Young from Texas.

The Orioles had one All-Star representative last season.

Rafael Palmeiro has played first base most of the season, but he is second in the designated hitter category, trailing Boston's David Ortiz by 1,308,507 votes. New York's Jason Giambi, Detroit's Dmitri Young and Chicago's Frank Thomas trail Ortiz and Palmeiro.

Javy Lopez is not expected to return from the disabled list until after the All-Star break, but he is fourth (361,687 votes) among AL catchers, trailing Boston's Jason Varitek, Detroit's Ivan Rodriguez and New York's Jorge Posada. Chicago's A.J. Pierzynski is behind Lopez.

Melvin Mora is enjoying another standout season, but he remains in third place among AL third basemen. Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez leads the voting at 1,524,514 votes, followed by Boston's Bill Mueller with 502,770 and Mora with 425,962. Texas slugger Hank Blalock and Seattle's Adrian Beltre are also in the running.

Gary Washburn 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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