Kipnis needs helping hand in All-Star voting

Indians second baseman ranks fourth following latest AL update

Kipnis needs helping hand in All-Star voting

CLEVELAND - Although Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has continued his hot-hitting ways, he's lost ground in the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, as American League Central rival Ian Kinsler usurped Kipnis in the latest voting update on Monday.

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Kansas City's Omar Infante still leads AL second basemen in voting, followed by Houston's Jose Altuve and Detroit's Kinsler.

Meanwhile, the hot streak that led to Kipnis' historic month of May has continued into June, as the 27-year-old owns a .361 average and a .459 on-base percentage during the month, along with a career-high 16-game hitting streak entering Monday's series opener against the Tigers.

"When you get on a roll and you feel good, he's gotten to the point where he feels so good about himself," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "And on the days he doesn't feel good, he's managed to find a way to get a walk or a hit."

Entering Monday, Kipnis led all AL second basemen in average (.345), on-base percentage (.423), OPS (.932), hits (92), triples (4) and walks (33). He also led all AL position players in Wins Above Replacement, with 4.3, according to FanGraphs.com.

"He's one of the better players in the game right now," Francona said. "We saw that a couple years ago where he was getting there, and then last year it got interrupted for a number of reasons. But man, he's a force."

Michael Brantley remains in eighth place among outfielders, though the gap between him and the top seven has grown to two million votes, after just 600,000 separated Brantley from seventh place last week.

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.

August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.