Donaldson surges on AL All-Star ballot

Blue Jays third baseman closes in on Royals' Moustakas

Donaldson surges on AL All-Star ballot

ST. PETERSBURG -- The campaign to get Josh Donaldson voted into the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati appears to be working, as the veteran third baseman has surged to within striking distance of first place.

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Donaldson trailed Kansas City's Mike Moustakas by more than 1.6 million votes two weeks ago, but that gap has been narrowed to approximately 33,000. With less than two weeks to go in the voting process, the starting job at third base is very much up for grabs.

The 29-year-old Donaldson is looking to become the first Blue Jays third baseman and the fourth Toronto infielder to win a fan election, joining second baseman Roberto Alomar (1991-94), first baseman John Olerud (1993) and first baseman Carlos Delgado (2003).

Donaldson has received plenty of support in recent weeks with players across the league and even some celebrities speaking out in his favor. Hockey Night in Canada's Don Cherry and actor Stephen Amell are among those who have been rallying the vote during the past two weeks.

Don Cherry says 'Vote Donaldson'

Entering Monday, Donaldson was hitting .302 with 17 home runs, 18 doubles, 46 RBIs and a Major League-best 56 runs scored. He also led the AL with 154 total bases and is tied for second with 26 multi-hit games and 35 extra-base hits.

Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista also has a shot of getting voted into the game as a starter. He was ranked sixth in the outfield with 5,299,960 votes but trailed Mike Trout (9,148,142), Lorenzo Cain (9,079,146) and Alex Gordon (7,810,995).

Russell Martin (4,736,279) is ranked second at catcher but is well back of first-place Salvador Perez (10,199,151). Jose Reyes (3,499,760) is third at shortstop behind Kansas City's Alcides Escobar (8,739,920) and Detroit's Jose Iglesias (6,122,972). Edwin Encarnacion is ranked third at DH, Devon Travis is fifth at second base and Justin Smoak is fourth at first.

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.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.