Molina holds narrow lead in All-Star voting

Cardinals catcher, Giants' Buster Posey locked in ballot's tightest race

Molina holds narrow lead in All-Star voting

KANSAS CITY -- With four days remaining to cast votes for the 2016 Major League All-Star Game presented by MasterCard, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is locked in the ballot's tightest battle.

Molina's lead over San Francisco's Buster Posey has shrunk to 5,130 votes as of Monday's latest update. Voting continues through 10:59 p.m. CT on Thursday. Molina and Posey have combined to win six of the last seven fan elections for National League catcher. Washington's Wilson Ramos, who trails Molina by just over 286,000 votes, also still remains within striking distance.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Molina, Carpenter and other #ASGWorthy players

Molina, edged by Posey in last summer's voting, is seeking his fifth career fan election. If he earns it, Molina would join Ozzie Smith (12) and former teammate Albert Pujols (5) as the only players in Cardinals history to be voted an All-Star starter at least five times.

Molina enters Monday's series in Kansas City batting .261 with 15 doubles, 25 RBIs and 25 runs scored. He's also caught more innings (572 1/3) than any other Major League backstop this season.

Arguably the team's most deserving All-Star, Matt Carpenter, will need a massive boost of support to overtake Chicago's Kris Bryant and Colorado's Nolan Arenado in the third baseman vote. Carpenter, with 882,135 votes, trails Bryant by 1.6 million. Carpenter enters Monday having reached base safely in 18 straight games. His on-base percentage (.506) this month is the best by a Cardinals player in June since Stan Musial posted a .508 mark in 1948.

FAQ: How All-Star reserves are selected

Other Cardinals players cracking the voting leaderboard include Brandon Moss, ranked fifth among NL first basemen; Stephen Piscotty, ranked 10th among NL outfielders; and Matt Holliday, ranked 12th among NL outfielders.

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot. Vote up to five times in any 24-hour period for a maximum of 35 times.

Fans may also receive the ballot by texting VOTE to 89269 (USA) or 101010 (Canada). Text VOTA for a ballot in Spanish. Message and data rates may apply. No purchase required. Reply STOP to cancel. Reply HELP for info.

Following the July 5 announcement of the 2016 All-Stars, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player on each league's All-Star roster. On Tuesday, July 12, watch the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard 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 2016 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 87th All-Star Game, in San Diego, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.