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Votto closing in on first All-Star Game start

Votto closing in on first All-Star Game start

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Votto closing in on first All-Star Game start
CINCINNATI -- Just two days remain before the ballots close on the 83rd All-Star Game, leaving one Red on the verge of making history in Cincinnati.

Reds' Mr. Everything, Joey Votto, who has held down the top spot at first base for the National League since voting opened, increased his lead of the Cardinals' Lance Berkman again, now holding a near three-million vote advantage.

Barring a drastic change, Votto will be the first Reds player to earn a starting spot in the Midsummer Classic since Ken Griffey Jr. did so in 2007.

Votto has amassed 4,475,180 votes in total, passing Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp for the most in the National League. He has garnered the second-most votes of any Major Leaguer, behind the Rangers' Josh Hamilton, who as more than 7 million votes to his name.

Votto, who has appeared in the past two All-Star Games, has never started. The leading vote-getter at each infield position and catcher will start in the game.

"I don't let my emotions go too high or too low, but this is something that is a great, great honor for me," Votto said. "Especially being able to do it as a Cincinnati Red. Hopefully things finish out well, but to be at this point, it's really something I'm very proud of."

Entering Monday's game, Votto was hitting .359 this season with 14 home runs and 47 RBIs, and he was leading the Majors with 30 doubles, 58 walks and a .484 on-base percentage.

Despite his red-hot resume in June, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips still trails the Braves' Dan Uggla in the polls by 770,395 votes.

Phillips has compiled 1,870,966 votes and is seeking his first All-Star Game start.

Entering Monday's game, the two-time All-Star was hitting .283 with 10 homers and 44 RBIs, but he has truly flourished in the field, snagging web gems nearly every outing.

Phillips' .933 fielding percentage is fourth-best in the National League, and he has only committed two errors all season.

Uggla is hitting .244 with 14 homers and 42 RBIs. He has a .976 fielding percentage and had committed eight errors as of Monday.

The final Reds player found near the top is right fielder Jay Bruce, whose position in the polls remained unchanged, sitting at 14th.

Bruce, who was batting .252 with 46 RBIs while leading the team with 16 homers entering Monday, has totaled 1,195,031 votes. He will need some hefty support in order to land his second consecutive All-Star Game appearance.

The top three vote-getters in the outfield are Kemp (4,118,524), the Cardinals' Carlos Beltran (3,717,483) and the Brewers' Ryan Braun (3,168,617).

The remaining positions also remained unchanged, with the Cardinals' Rafael Furcal leading the shortstops, the Mets' David Wright leading at third base and the Giants' Buster Posey on top of the catchers.

Fans can vote for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and at all 30 club sites -- online or via a mobile device -- using the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until June 28 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Fans can also once again participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Winners will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby. The 2012 State Farm 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 July 9.

The 2012 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled July 1 on the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com.

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 2012 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 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on July 10. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 83rd 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 Sirius XM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.

Mark Clements is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["all-star_game" ] }
{"content":["all-star_game" ] }
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