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Markakis joins OF leaders as four O's highlight latest AL balloting figures

      Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis, who is aiming for his All-Star Game debut, has joined the American League outfield leaders in the third balloting figures for the 84th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 16th at Citi Field in New York. The latest A.L. results were announced earlier this evening on FOX as part of its "Baseball Night in America" pre-game show. The third National League balloting results will be revealed tomorrow night on ESPN during "Baseball Tonight" at 7:00 p.m. (EDT) prior to its Sunday Night Baseball telecast.

      Markakis, who is one of four Orioles leading a position in balloting, has hit safely in 26 of his last 32 games, batting .306 (41-for-134) since May 9th. The seventh overall selection of the 2003 Draft, who has received 1,463,392 votes, is one of 14 players in the Majors with at least 25 doubles in each of the last seven seasons (13 in 2013). The eight-year veteran is joined in the outfield by his teammate Adam Jones, who remains the top vote-getter in the outfield with 2,740,505 votes, and Mike Trout (2,710,115) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Markakis and Jones would become the first pair of Orioles teammates to earn fan-elected starts together, and join Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (1970-71), Ken Singleton (1981) and Brady Anderson (1997) as the only outfielders in franchise history to be voted in by the fans. In addition, it would mark the 17th time in history, and the first since Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox in 2005, for teammates in the A.L. outfield to receive fan-elected starts together. Jones, a two-time All-Star bidding for his first fan-elected start, is among the top 10 in the A.L. with 47 runs (tied for second), 85 hits (fourth), 46 RBI (seventh), 19 doubles (tied for eighth) and 14 home runs (tied for ninth). Trout, who was the seventh-youngest A.L. position player in All-Star history last year, is contending for his second All-Star appearance. The 2012 A.L. Rookie of the Year has reached safely in 61 games this season and his 27 multi-hit games are tied for first in the Majors. Markakis is trying to hold off a group of outfielders for the third spot, including four-time All-Star and two-time fan-elected starter Torii Hunter (1,425,571) of the Detroit Tigers; three-time All-Star and two-time fan-elected starter Jose Bautista (1,379,251) of the Toronto Blue Jays; 2009 All-Star Nelson Cruz (1,310,079) of the Texas Rangers; 2008 All-Star Nate McLouth (1,300,158) of the Orioles; Alex Gordon (1,040,685) of the Kansas City Royals; and 2011 All-Star Jacoby Ellsbury (1,004,434) of the Red Sox.

      Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has amassed the second-highest number of votes in the A.L. with 2,999,094, extending his lead over four-time All-Star and three-time fan-elected starter Prince Fielder (1,980,129) of the Tigers. Davis, who is bidding for his first All-Star appearance, leads the Majors with 22 home runs and a .695 slugging percentage, and would become the first Orioles first baseman since Hall of Famer Eddie Murray in 1985 to receive a fan-elected start. He is joined in the A.L. infield by teammate J.J. Hardy, who has garnered 1,871,010 votes to lead Elvis Andrus (1,358,412) of the Rangers at shortstop. Hardy, who is aiming for his first fan-elected start and second All-Star appearance overall (2007), would join Cal Ripken, Jr. (12 times, 1984-87, 89-96) and Miguel Tejada (2005) as the only Orioles shortstops to receive a fan-elected start. The nine-year veteran, who is batting .296 with 10 doubles, 10 homers and 26 RBI over his last 46 games since April 26th, leads all A.L. shortstops with 13 home runs and 39 RBI. The Orioles had a franchise-best three players elected by the fans in 1971 (Boog Powell, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson) and 1997 (Roberto Alomar, Brady Anderson, Ripken).

      Rounding out the infield is Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, who continues to lead all A.L. players with 3,277,890 votes, and New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, who will serve as the A.L. captain for the 2013 Home Run Derby. Cabrera, who leads the Majors with a .354 batting average, 69 RBI and a .447 on-base percentage, is seeking his first-ever fan-elected start and his eighth All-Star nod overall. The 2012 A.L. MVP and Triple Crown winner also paces the A.L. with 52 runs scored and ranks second in the league with a .630 slugging percentage. Orioles third baseman Manny Machado trails Cabrera with 1,626,209 total votes. The 20-year-old Florida native, who was the third overall pick in the 2010 Draft, leads the Majors with 95 hits and 30 doubles. Cano, a four-time All-Star and three-time fan-elected starter, is bidding to become the first A.L. second baseman to earn four consecutive fan-elected starts since Roberto Alomar had five from 1996-2000. Cano has tallied 2,409,512 votes, and leads Major League second basemen with 16 home runs and a .517 slugging percentage. He is trailed by three-time All-Star and two-time fan-elected starter Dustin Pedroia (1,635,674) of the A.L. East rival Boston Red Sox.                                                                                                        

     Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, who has garnered 2,488,451 votes, continues to lead Lance Berkman of the Rangers (1,239,521) in his quest for a ninth All-Star selection and seventh fan-elected starting assignment. Ortiz, who has homered in five of his last 12 games with 14 RBI in that span, is the only player in the Majors with at least 10 home runs in each of the 14 seasons since 2000. The Dominican Republic native, who ranks second in the Majors with 49 RBI since his season debut on April 20th, would become the second Red Sox player in history to earn seven fan-elected starts, joining his former teammate Manny Ramirez. In addition, Ortiz would become the 10th player in A.L. history to receive at least seven fan-elected starts with a single team, joining Hall of Famers Ripken (17, Baltimore), George Brett (11, Kansas City), Rod Carew (9, Minnesota) and Dave Winfield (7, New York), and other A.L. All-Stars Ken Griffey, Jr. (10, Seattle), Ichiro Suzuki (9, Seattle), Ivan Rodriguez (9, Texas), Derek Jeter (8, New York) and Ramirez (7, Boston).  

     Five-time All-Star and three-time fan-elected starter Joe Mauer (2,127,175) of the Minnesota Twins holds an advantage behind the dish over Orioles backstop Matt Wieters (1,615,625). Mauer, who has hit safely in 29 of his last 35 games with a batting average of .362 since May 5th, would join Rodriguez (12) and Carlton Fisk as the only A.L. catchers to earn at least four fan elections. In addition, the 2009 A.L. MVP is also aiming to join Carew (nine times) and Kirby Puckett (six times) as the only Twins in franchise history to earn at least four fan-elected starting assignments.

     MLB's All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports, and last year produced a record-shattering total of 40.2 million ballots cast. This year, more than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks, each of which will have 25 dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 Minor League ballparks. 

     In addition, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites - online or via their mobile devices - with the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by freecreditscore.com. During the voting period, the All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by freecreditscore.com will be available in English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Chinese, and will offer audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Banco BHD will sponsor online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.

     Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than Tuesday, May 7th. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes on Friday, June 28th, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, July 4th at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

     Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2013 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program. The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events.

     For the fifth consecutive year, this year's ballot features the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select the three players in each League who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The Fan Poll is also available online at MLB.com. The 2013 Home Run Derby, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8:00 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, July 15th. The 10 American League candidates are Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays; Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers; Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers; the winner of the 2011 Home Run Derby, Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees; Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox; the winner of the 2009 and 2012 Home Run Derby, Prince Fielder of the Tigers; Josh Hamilton of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles; Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays; and Mike Trout of the Angels. The 10 National League candidates are Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals; Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers; Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals; Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves; Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants; Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins; Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds; and David Wright of the Mets.

     The A.L. All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the N.L. All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads - totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. - will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers - A.L. skipper Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers and N.L. manager Bruce Bochy of the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.

     Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over a four-day period and the winners will be announced after the voting concludes on Thursday, July 11th. Now in its 12th season with more than 350 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile phones.

     This year's final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year's recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy. 

     The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16th. The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies will begin at 7:30 p.m. (EDT). ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or mets.com/asg.

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