Cruz leads at DH as Mariners seek All-Star push

Cruz leads at DH as Mariners seek All-Star push

SEATTLE -- While the defending American League champion Royals are dominating the early voting on the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz continues leading the designated hitter tally in the latest results released Monday by Major League Baseball.

Cruz, who entered Monday leading the AL with 18 home runs as well as a .660 slugging percentage and 1.051 OPS, holds a narrow lead over Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales in the second round of voting results at 2,108,584 to 1,827,730.

No other Mariners player is ranked in the top five of positions or 15 outfielders in the early voting, which has five Royals -- catcher Salvador Perez, shortstop Alcides Escobar, third baseman Mike Moustakas and outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon -- currently leading the voting at their positions.

The other current leaders are first baseman Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, second baseman Jose Altuve of the Astros and outfielder Mike Trout of the Angels.

Cruz, who also entered Monday's series opener vs. the Yankees tied for second in the AL in RBIs with 38 and ranks third in batting average at .335, is vying for his fourth All-Star berth. He was named to the team in 2009 and '13 while with the Rangers and was voted the starting DH last season when he led the Majors with 40 home runs for the Orioles.

Morales, who played for the Mariners the previous two seasons, is pushing for his first career All-Star selection. The 31-year-old is batting .304 with six homers and 37 RBIs in his first year with Kansas City.

Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano, a six-time All-Star who has been elected the AL starter for the past five years, is not among the top five at his position after getting off to a slow start this year.

Third baseman Kyle Seager, who was named to his first All-Star team last year, also is not currently among the AL leaders. 

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.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.