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Harper pulling out all stops in Final Vote push

Harper pulling out all stops in Final Vote push

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Harper pulling out all stops in Final Vote push
WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper saved some of his best for last this week, with the Final Vote competition drawing to a close on Thursday.

The Nationals' rookie, one of four National League players vying for the final spot on the league's All-Star team, went 2-for-4 with two runs and a walk on Wednesday afternoon in Washington's 9-4 win against the visiting Giants.

Harper has helped the Nationals to a 47-32 record on the year, and the club's mark of 15 games over .500 ties a season-best set on June 13.

At last count, Harper trailed St. Louis' David Freese in the NL balloting. Atlanta's Michael Bourn and Arizona's Aaron Hill filled the third and fourth spots, respectively.

"It's great. Having the fan support and whatnot, and really having them get going for me and vote for me, it's great," Harper said after Wednesday's game. "If I don't make it, it's OK. Hopefully, I've got a few more [hitting] tears to try to make the team. I think the fans are gonna have a lot of fun up there. That's the biggest thing. It's for the fans. If I don't go, it's not gonna hurt them at all."

Voting ends Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET.

To receive the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for Harper, simply text message N3 to 89269. Mobile voting in Canada is also available, and fans should text their choices to 101010. Standard rates may apply.

Rangers rookie Yu Darvish leads in the American League voting, but the Nationals and Orioles are encouraging fans in the Washington and Baltimore area to get out and support both Harper and Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel, who joins Harper on the teams' combined "Beltways Ballot."

Fans can use the hashtags #BryceIn12, #VoteHammel and #BeltwaysBallot on Twitter to help encourage others to get out and vote. This is the second consecutive year the teams have partnered for the Final Vote, as last year Adam Jones and Michael Morse formed the inaugural "Beltways Ballot."

Harper could join shortstop Ian Desmond and pitchers Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez as the largest contingent of Nationals at an All-Star Game since the franchise moved to Washington in 2005.

The Nationals have had a player participate in the Final Vote balloting in each of the last four seasons -- Cristian Guzman in 2009, Ryan Zimmerman in 2010, Morse in 2011 and Harper this year. The team has never had one of its players win the contest.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.‬ This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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