Cueto maintains lead in tight Final Vote race

Cueto maintains lead in tight Final Vote race

WASHINGTON -- On the morning after he dominated the Nationals on the mound, Reds rotation ace Johnny Cueto learned Wednesday that he was leading in the National League portion of the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote.

Cast your Esurance Final Vote for Cueto

The Cincinnati right-hander maintained that lead as of Thursday morning's latest polling release. Following Cueto was Carlos Martinez from the Cardinals, Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies, Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Jeurys Familia of the Mets.

"I feel good. I feel proud," Cueto said Wednesday afternoon through translator Tomas Vera. "I'm really proud because it looks like the fans in Cincinnati are voting for me and also the people in my country [the Dominican Republic] are voting for me. I thank everybody."

Frazier says #VoteCueto

Voting is open until 4 p.m. ET on Friday at MLB.com to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via Final Vote. In addition, fans can use their mobile devices to vote at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for Cueto, fans can text N1 to 89269.

In 16 starts this season, Cueto is 6-5 with a 2.61 ERA. During Tuesday's 5-0 Reds win over Washington, he dealt a two-hit complete-game shutout with 11 strikeouts.

"I would love to pitch in the All-Star Game," Cueto said after the start. "I want to do it. Besides that it's an All-Star Game, it's in Cincinnati. It's with my fans in my house and my team. Of course, I want them to see me pitch there."

Cueto's teammates continued to stump for him on social media, including All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman and center fielder Billy Hamilton on Wednesday. Cincinnati was successful in Final Vote in the past, and got Joey Votto elected in 2010.

"They're backing me up. They know I deserve this," Cueto said. "It's in Cincinnati and I want to be there. It's our field."

Pena urges fans to #VoteCueto

The Reds' social media department has organized a lunch-time voting push at The Holy Grail, across the street from the ballpark, to get Cueto elected. Voting starts at lunch hour Friday and will run until the 4 p.m. ET deadline. Prizes will be offered to voters.

During the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile in Cincinnati on Tuesday, 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. 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 Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET), 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.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.