AL Final Vote leader Moose homers again

Royals third baseman hits HR in 3rd straight game Wednesday

AL Final Vote leader Moose homers again

SEATTLE -- Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas' candidacy for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Final Vote in the American League keeps getting stronger.

Moustakas hit a two-run homer in the first inning of a 9-6, 10-inning win over the Mariners on Wednesday at Safeco Field, going deep for the third straight game. He has 25 home runs this season, including six in his last eight games.

"It's seriously just trying to come up there with the same gameplan I have all the time, just not try and do too much," Moustakas said. "[I] get a good gameplan in before the game with [hitting coach] Dale [Sveum], and try and stick with it the best that I can. And it's been working."

The Kansas City slugger will compete in the 2017 T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday in Miami, and he's also leading the Final Vote for the 32nd and final spot on the AL All-Star team in the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard in the final hours of the vote.

"The thing about that Final Vote is that all 10 guys in that thing deserve to go to the All-Star Game," said Moustakas, who was named an All-Star for the first time in his career by winning the Final Vote in 2015. "Every person deserves to go, and obviously the fans are out there voting, which is amazing, and it's an honor to just be a part of that whole situation."

Despite the attention of the Final Vote campaigning, Moustakas is just trying to keep things simple.

"It's something I'm not trying to think of too much," Moustakas said. "I'm just trying to be along for the ride, you know, the fans are taking me along for a pretty good ride right now. Yeah, I'd love to go to Miami, and stick around for a few days instead of just one. It'd be an amazing experience to do that."

Balloting for the #FinalVote, held exclusively online via MLB.com, club sites and mobile devices, is under way through 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will be announced during MLB Tonight, live on MLB Network and MLB.com, at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Now in its 16th season, with more than 680 million votes cast, the Final Vote again will include social-media votes on the last day of balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the final six hours of balloting will count toward vote totals. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET on Thursday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.

Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle and covered the Royals on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.