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Pirates seeking All-Star treasure

Pirates seeking All-Star treasure

PITTSBURGH -- Heading into the final week of voting, the Pittsburgh Pirates are still looking to put one of their own in the running for a spot in the National League starting lineup.

After four weeks of All-Star polling, there are no Pirates players positioned among the top five vote-getters at first base, second base, third base, shortstop or catcher, nor were there any Bucs ranked in the top 15 among outfielders. However, there is still time for Bucs fans to make a difference for Jason Bay, Jack Wilson, Matt Lawton and company.

Among Pirates players listed on the ballot, Bay has had the most impressive season thus far. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year, who has shunned the dreaded sophomore slump, entered Monday's action batting .299 with 46 runs, 12 home runs, 33 RBIs and a solid .931 OPS.

Utility man Rob Mackowiak has made a case for himself as a write-in candidate. The versatile left-handed hitter leads the Bucs with a .319 batting average and a .400 on-base percentage.

Fans continue to have the opportunity to cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Ameriquest 2005 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until 11:59 p.m. ET on June 30.

The 2005 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet, which will air live on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 3. This special program will feature the announcement of the 17 elected starters, as determined by the fan balloting program, and 45 pitchers and reserves, as determined by the player ballot, the two All-Star team managers -- Terry Francona of the Boston Red Sox and Tony La Russa of the St. Louis Cardinals -- and Major League Baseball.

Ed Eagle 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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