Bautista closing in on starting outfield spot
Blue Jays' outfielder jumps to fourth in the latest AL All-Star voting totals
TORONTO -- Jose Bautista has gained ground in his quest to be voted into the All-Star Game for a third consecutive year.
Toronto's outfielder moved into sole possession of fourth place among outfielders when the latest results of American League fan voting were released Saturday night.
Bautista was ranked fifth overall last week but has since surpassed the vote total of Detroit's Torii Hunter. Bautista currently has 1,867,367 while Hunter is behind by a slim margin and has 1,851,367 votes overall.
The 32-year-old Bautista would need to finish in the top three to guarantee his spot in the Midsummer Classic, which is taking place at New York's Citi Field on July 16. Baltimore's Adam Jones (3,571,693) is first in voting for AL outfielders, Los Angeles' Mike Trout (3,548,195) ranks second while Baltimore's Nick Markakis (1,915,860) is barely hanging onto third.
The latest round of AL results comes on the same day that Bautista hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning off Baltimore's Darren O'Day to lead the Blue Jays to a 4-2 victory. Bautista is batting .253 with 16 homers and 39 RBIs in 66 games this season.
Toronto's only other contender in the fan voting process as of right now is Edwin Encarnacion, who is listed at designated hitter. Encarnacion has arguably been the Blue Jays' best hitter this season, but he sits a distant third with 1,091,593 votes. Boston's David Ortiz is first at 3,247,462.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or via a mobile device -- using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, July 4, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Fans may submit 25 online ballots during the voting period but can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, fans must be logged into an MLB.com account when submitting any online ballot. To obtain an MLB.com account, visit mlb.com and register in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans can also once again participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league whom they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. 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 p.m. ET on Monday, July 15.
Though originally scheduled for July 7, the 2013 rosters will now be unveiled Saturday, July 6, at 6:30 p.m. ET on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell. The show will be televised nationally on FOX.
From Saturday, July 6 to Thursday, July 11, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com for the final player for each League's All-Star roster.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again 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 via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
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. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.