Kipnis, Brantley trending upward on All-Star ballot

Second baseman moves into fourth place, outfielder ascends to seventh

Kipnis, Brantley trending upward on All-Star ballot

After being noticeably absent from the leaderboard last week, a strong finish to a historic May helped Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis gain ground on the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot.

In the latest All-Star results released on Monday, Kipnis went from unranked to fourth among American League second basemen. Cleveland left fielder Michael Brantley also jumped to seventh from ninth place in balloting for the AL starting outfield.

Kipnis had two doubles and one run scored in a win over the Mariners on Sunday, giving the Tribe's second baseman 51 hits and 30 runs scored in May. No Cleveland player had reached at least 50 hits and 30 runs in one month since August 1938 (Jeff Heath). Kipnis was the first AL batter to do so since Derek Jeter in August 1998.

"When you start throwing those names around, [Kipnis has] had an unbelievable month," Indians manager Terry Francona said on Sunday. "I think he's an unbelievable player, and he does so many things to help us win. It's been like that for a while now. He's been a force."

Kipnis on record and win

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 11:59 p.m. ET. 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.

Brantley's go-ahead double

Kipnis ranked fourth among his AL positional peers with 504,909 votes, trailing Houston's Jose Altuve (2,020,143), Kansas City's Omar Infante (1,442,990) and Detroit's Ian Kinsler (537,849). Statistically, Kipnis ranked first among AL second basemen in average (.340), on-base percentage (.411), slugging percentage (.529) and OPS (.940), entering Monday. In 50 games, Kipnis had five homers, 16 doubles, four triples, 25 RBIs, 21 walks, 37 runs, five stolen bases and 70 hits.

In May, Kipnis posted a .429/.511/.706 slash line in 29 games.

Brantley (906,788 votes) was well behind the top three outfielder vote getters: Kansas City's Lorenzo Cain (2,506,859), L.A.'s Mike Trout (2,371,435) and Kansas City's Alex Gordon (1,917,834). Through 43 games, Brantley was hitting .302/.379/.473 with four homers, 17 doubles, 30 RBIs, 23 walks, 13 strikeouts, seven stolen bases, 21 runs and 51 hits.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.