Stars turn in big performances as ASG voting heats up

Stars turn in big performances as ASG voting heats up

The voting for Major League Baseball's 2014 All-Star Game has been heating up for weeks. The action on the field in the days leading up to the July 15 Midsummer Classic at Target Field in Minneapolis is only getting hotter as June winds down.

A look at Wednesday's games shows that many of the leading vote getters in the latest updates are living up to their top billing, while quite a few of their closest pursuers are doing well, too.

While the leading vote-getter so far in all of baseball, outfielder Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, sat out another game because of a hamstring strain, the National League's headliner as of Wednesday, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, had a rough night, going 1-for-5 with three strikeouts in a 9-6 loss to the Cardinals.

The best all-around individual game in the big leagues on Wednesday might have been put forth by Toronto shortstop Jose Reyes, who is currently fourth in the voting for the American League. Reyes went 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, two runs and a stolen base in his club's 5-3 loss to the Yankees. His teammate, outfielder Melky Cabrera, who ranks third in the voting, went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Top AL shortstop vote-getter Derek Jeter of the Yankees went 1-for-3 with a strikeout in that game on the eve of his 40th birthday.

Elsewhere, other leaders shined. Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who has the most votes in the NL at his position thus far, went 2-for-5 with a double, a triple and two RBIs as Los Angeles beat Kansas City, 5-4. Major League co-home run leader Nelson Cruz of the Orioles, who leads in the designated hitter spot, continued his assault on AL pitching with a grand slam -- his 24th long ball of the season -- that tied the game against the White Sox in the eighth inning, setting up Baltimore for a wild-pitch win in the 12th. Jose Abreu, the rookie slugger who is second in the voting to two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera at first base, went 2-for-5 with a homer for Chicago.

Speaking of Miguel Cabrera, he had a ho-hum night (for him), going 1-for-4 with a mere double and a paltry two RBIs in Detroit's 8-6 win over Texas, managing to overshadow Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, who's second to Oakland's Josh Donaldson in the AL voting but improved his stock on Wednesday with a 3-for-4 night that included a double, two RBIs and a stolen base. Two other Tigers doing well in the voting also did well on the field in that game, with second baseman Ian Kinsler (second in the voting to Seattle's Robinson Cano) going 2-for-3 with a double, two runs and two walks, and designated hitter Victor Martinez (third in the balloting behind Cruz and David Ortiz) continuing a torrid season at the plate with a 2-for-5 night that featured a homer, a double and two RBIs.

Carlos Gomez of the Brewers is third in the NL outfield voting right now, and he did his part to live up to that lofty status on Wednesday, going 3-for-4 with a triple, an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base in his team's 9-2 victory over the Nationals.

And Mike Trout of the Angels, firmly ensconced in the AL outfield voting in second place behind Bautista, went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout in his club's win over Minnesota.

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.

Fans this year once again can participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 14.

The 2014 AL and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.

And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the 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 via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide 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.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.