Altuve second in ASG balloting at second

Fans can vote up to 35 times online until July 2

Altuve second in ASG balloting at second

HOUSTON -- If Astros fans want to see Jose Altuve start for the American League in next month's All-Star Game, they have some work to do.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Altuve and other #ASGWorthy players

Altuve fell out into second place at second base in the latest 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot update released Monday. Omar Infante of the Royals (4,518,765) passed Altuve (4,209,702) and becomes the eighth seventh Royals player in line to start for the AL.

"I hope our fans get out and respond favorably for him," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I know it's a hot topic and the enormous totals of votes [the Royals] are getting. We have a deserving second baseman that should start in the game in my opinion. We'll see where it trends over the next month. There's a number of top players around the league that are behind in the voting that have a case, but clearly the Royals fans have found a way to get a lot of votes in there."

Altuve hasn't started for the Astros since leaving Friday's game with a mild hamstring strain, but he's expected to return to the starting lineup Tuesday. He entered Monday's game hitting .290 with five homers and 27 RBIs and led the AL in stolen bases.

"We're in first place and I really want to stay there, really want to win games and end the season in first place and go to the playoffs," Altuve said. "If we want to do that, I have to be 100 percent focused on playing and winning. I'm not saying it wouldn't be good to make the All-Star Game, but right now I think the most important thing for us and for our fans is to stay in first place."

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.

Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie, who's been out since April with a thumb injury, is fifth among shortstops with 978,117 votes.

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.