Late surge propels Altuve to start in ASG

Late surge propels Altuve to start in ASG

BOSTON -- Astros second baseman Jose Altuve will start for the American League in the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile on July 14 in Cincinnati after winning fan balloting at his position. He'll be the first Astros position player since Lance Berkman in 2008 to start the Midsummer Classic.

"I mean, it's pretty good," Altuve said. "I really appreciate everything the fans do for me and the whole organization, putting all the things to win the fan vote."

Altuve, who went 1-for-5 in Sunday's 5-4 loss to the Red Sox to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, is making his third All-Star appearance, and second in a row for the AL. He was a reserve for the National League in 2012 and last year for the AL. He's hitting .301 with seven homers, 35 RBIs and a league-leading 24 steals.

"I'm proud of him, I'm proud of our fans," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I think fans around baseball did a great job getting a very worthy guy to start the game. It's big for our franchise. Jose is everything that's going right about us that he represents. To have him start the game, I'm very proud of him, very happy for him. He was happy. Any time you get to deliver news like that, it's pretty exciting for the players."

Dallas Keuchel was announced as being part of the AL All-Star pitching staff on Monday.

Voting is open now at MLB.com to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each League until 4 p.m. ET on Friday.

And the voting doesn't end there. During the Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MVP Vote presented by Chevrolet, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities, including the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 13. The Derby will feature a new format with brackets and timed rounds and will be broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (7 p.m. ET air time, 8:15 first pitch), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive 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.

Altuve trailed Kansas City's Omar Infante in the last voting totals released last week, but he made a late push to pass him and start.

"I knew I was really close to Omar and I trust my fans in Houston and the team was really pushing the fans to vote," Altuve said. "Like I said, I knew I had a little chance and I'm really happy because I'm in my third All-Star Game, but this is kind of special because it's going to be my first as a starter."

Hinch said most don't realize how hard Altuve works.

"He works hard at his craft, he's really good and takes a lot of pride," he said. "He's endured a lot of time here in Houston to battle and get to this point. For us, having a strong season, he's having [a big] season and he gets awarded the start at second base -- I can't think of a more well-deserving Astro, for sure, to get that opportunity to start an All-Star Game."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.