Altuve tops 2B in 1st All-Star ballot update

Altuve tops 2B in 1st All-Star ballot update

BALTIMORE -- Jose Altuve of the Astros is the leading the American League second baseman on the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot at his position in the first round of balloting totals released on Tuesday. Altuve's 1,301,754 votes are nearly double of Omar Infante of the Royals, who's in second with 715,345 votes.

Altuve, a two-time All-Star, is aiming to become just the seventh player (10th time overall) in Astros history to earn a fan-elected start, and the first to do so since Houston moved to the AL for the 2013 season. He would join Craig Biggio (1995-98) and Jeff Kent (2004) as Houston second basemen to earn a fan election.

"I didn't expect this," Altuve said. "I think it's pretty good because the thing is, they're voting for a player on the team and they're supporting the team, too. I know it's still early, but I appreciate that. I think the most important thing right now is winning."

The other Astros fan-elected starters are first basemen Lee May (1972), Jeff Bagwell (1997) and Lance Berkman (2008) and outfielder Cesar Cedeno (1973). Altuve, 25, is batting .299 with five home runs, nine doubles, 25 RBIs, 23 runs scored and 14 stolen bases, which is tied for the most in the AL.

Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie currently ranks fourth among AL shortstops with 332,534 votes. He is behind the Royals Alcides Escobar (1,191,268 votes), the Tigers' Jose Iglesias (826,382 votes) and the Athletics' Marcus Semien (354,954 votes). Prior to being placed on the disabled list with a right thumb ligament tear, Lowrie was hitting .300 with four home runs, 10 RBIs and a .999 OPS.

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- using the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday, July 2, at 10:59 p.m. CT. For the first time, voting is exclusively online, where fans may submit up to 35 ballots.

Fans may also receive the ballot by texting VOTE to 89269 (USA) or 101010 (Canada). Or text VOTA for a ballot in Spanish. Message and data rates may apply. Up to five messages. No purchase required. Reply STOP to cancel. Reply HELP for info.

Following the announcement of the 2015 All-Stars, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player for each league's All-Star roster. On Tuesday, July 14, watch the 2015 All-Star Game live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2015 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of All-Star Week festivities.

The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

• Right-hander Samuel Deduno, who's on the disabled list with a stiff lower back, threw in the bullpen on Tuesday in Baltimore without any issues and will go on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Fresno at Oklahoma City on Friday. Also, left-hander Brett Oberholtzer (blister) will make a rehab start Wednesday at Fresno.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.