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Pujols, Lee vie for NL All-Star nod

Pujols, Lee vie for NL All-Star nod

Who will it be -- Albert Pujols or Derrek Lee?

Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals slugger, and Lee, the Chicago Cubs' Triple Crown threat, are taking their battle to be the National League's starting first baseman at the July 12 All-Star Game right up to the deadline. According to the latest NL results released Tuesday by Major League Baseball Lee trails Pujols by only 59,912 votes.

Pujols -- who leads all National Leaguers with 1,714,179 votes -- led Lee by more than 300,000 votes three weeks ago, but the Cub star has been gaining ground each week. No Cub first baseman has won in fan voting, and the last Cub infielder to be selected to the All-Star Game was second baseman Ryne Sandberg in 1993.

In another NL development, Philadelphia's Bobby Abreu rode a surge of nearly 425,000 votes into first place among NL outfielders. Abreu is approximately 57,000 votes ahead of Jim Edmonds of the Cardinals and some 73,000 votes ahead of Carlos Beltran of the Mets.

The other position leaders for the 76th annual All-Star Game remained unchanged, with Mike Piazza of the Mets leading at catcher, Dodgers shortstop Cesar Izturis and second baseman Jeff Kent ahead at their respective positions, and Scott Rolen of the Cardinals atop the third-base balloting.

The shortstop battle is even closer than the first base fight. Izturis, who took over the lead two weeks ago in his bid to make the All-Star team for the first time, leads David Eckstein of the Cardinals by only 44,413 votes.

Fans can cast their votes up to 25 times with the Ameriquest All-Star Online Ballot, which is available exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 club sites. Online balloting ends at 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. The program will feature the announcement of the 17 elected starters, as determined by the fan balloting program, as well as the 45 pitchers and reserves, as determined by the player ballot and 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.

Immediately following the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Selection Show, fans will have the opportunity to select the final position player for each league's 32-man roster at MLB.com. The Ameriquest 2005 All-Star Final Vote will provide fans the opportunity to cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over a three-day period.

There will be two ways for fans to vote for the 2005 All-Star Final Vote -- online at MLB.com or on-the-go from cell phones. Fans can simply text the word "VOTE" to 69652 (MYMLB) and be instantly registered to receive Final Vote ballots. Then, for just 99 cents a ballot, they'll have the freedom to vote from wherever they are. Fans can pre-register for the mobile ballot now.

The Ameriquest 2005 All-Star Final Vote will conclude on Wednesday, July 6 at 8 p.m. ET. The two winners will be announced on ESPN and MLB.com shortly thereafter.

Results as of June 27:

1st Base
Player NameTeamTotal Votes
1. Pujols, A.Cardinals1,714,179
2. Lee, D.Cubs1,654,267
3. Mientkiewicz, D.Mets398,073
4. Thome, J.Phillies306,824
5. Choi, H.Dodgers301,250

2nd Base
Player NameTeamTotal Votes
1. Kent, J.Dodgers1,334,686
2. Grudzielanek, M.Cardinals825,767
3. Walker, T.Cubs641,835
4. Biggio, C.Astros626,416
5. Utley, C.Phillies463,070

Shortstop
Player NameTeamTotal Votes
1. Izturis, C.Dodgers940,944
2. Eckstein, D.Cardinals896,531
3. Garciaparra, N.Cubs712,410
4. Barmes, C.Rockies569,605
5. Reyes, J.Mets472,310

3rd Base
Player NameTeamTotal Votes
1. Rolen, S.Cardinals1,289,903
2. Ramirez, A.Cubs1,012,268
3. Glaus, T.Diamondbacks711,684
4. Jones, C.Braves643,626
5. Wright, D.Mets507,518

Catcher
Player NameTeamTotal Votes
1. Piazza, M.Mets1,173,789
2. Lo Duca, P.Marlins795,635
3. Barrett, M.Cubs778,932
4. Hernandez, R.Padres642,275
5. Molina, Y.Cardinals630,772

Outfield
Player NameTeamTotal Votes
1. Abreu, B.Phillies1,389,211
2. Edmonds, J.Cardinals1,332,002
3. Beltran, C.Mets1,316,894
4. Cabrera, M.Marlins917,985
5. Griffey Jr., K.Reds854,951
6. Walker, L.Cardinals732,785
7. Burrell, P.Phillies609,698
8. Bradley, M.Dodgers605,599
9. Jones, A.Braves591,284
10. Burnitz, J.Cubs569,358
11. Floyd, C.Mets549,837
12. Patterson, C.Cubs545,107
13. Drew, J.Dodgers521,089
14. Lee, C.Brewers516,834
15. Sanders, R.Cardinals510,864

Jim Molony is a writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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