With fewer than 24 hours remaining in voting for the 2014 All-Star Game, the heavy hitters of Major League Baseball were out in force on Wednesday night, hoping to sew up their presentations to the balloting public with final flourishes.
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 tonight at 11:59 ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
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.
The players whose names have been appearing most frequently on the ballots over a frenzied season of voting were duking it out on the diamonds of the American and National Leagues on Wednesday, to predictably impressive results.
Wednesday's marquee game for All-Star voting leaders had to be the Blue Jays' 7-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. The matchup featured a solo home run from All-Star headliner Jose Bautista of Toronto, wholeads all Major League players -- and AL outfielders -- in votes with 4,460,245 tallies as of this week's most recent updates.
Meanwhile, Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, who sits in fourth in the AL voting with 1,929,506 votes, went 2-for-4 with a double and a run, which could help him get past A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who has a slim margin over Cabrera with 1,941,553 votes. Cespedes went 1-for-4 in Oakland's 9-3 loss to Detroit on Wednesday.
Also in the Jays-Brewers game, fans were treated to another good game from Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who went 1-for-3 with a double and is batting .331 and still second to perennial NL starter Yadier Molina in the voting. Lucroy had 2,636,640 votes to Molina's 3,100,939 at the last update, and Molina went 1-for-4 on Wednesday.
Aramis Ramirez's 0-for-4 effort on Wednesday shouldn't hurt him; the Brewers' third baseman is a comfortable leader at his position in the NL voting, with 1,790,777 tallies. And Milwaukee outfielder Carlos Gomez (3,169,748 votes), who is second to Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen (3,173,810) by a slim margin, helped his cause Wednesday by going 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Then again, McCutchen delivered for red-hot Pittsburgh, going 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI to lift his season batting average to .313. In the same game, Pirates second baseman Neil Walker, who's second in the NL voting to Philadelphia's Chase Utley, went 1-for-5, while Utley, who has a large lead with 2,436,143 votes, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his team's 5-0 loss to Miami.
NL first base leader Paul Goldschmidt (2,582,955 votes) had an All-Star-caliber game despite his team's loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday, going 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is fourth in the NL voting, with 2,681,019 votes to third-place Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers' 3,001,907. On Wednesday, Puig got a day off to rest as his team dropped a 5-4 decision to Cleveland while Stanton went 0-for-3 against Philadelphia but drew a walk and stole his eighth base of the year.
The Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki continues to own the NL shortstop and overall voting with 3,997,477 votes as of the latest update, and while he had a bad game by his own lofty standards with a 1-for-4 outing in a 4-3 loss to Washington, he scored a run and his batting average remains a stout .351.
In the AL, with leading catcher vote-getter Matt Wieters of the Orioles out for the season after elbow surgery, the A's Derek Norris has taken control of second place with 1,924,049 votes. On Wednesday against Detroit, Norris went 2-for-4 while AL third-base vote-leader Josh Donaldson got a day off.
Ian Kinsler of the Tigers, who is second in the AL second-base race to Seattle's Robinson Cano, had a terrific game against the A's, going 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI, and two-time-defending AL MVP Miguel Cabrera, the leading vote-getter at first base in the AL, went 1-for-3 with a double, two walks and two RBIs.
The Mariners kept rolling by sweeping the Astros with a 5-2 win, and Cano did his thing, going 1-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. And while the Yankees lost to the Rays, 6-3, and shortstop Derek Jeter went 0-for-5, the legendary Yankees captain still looks like a lock to start the All-Star Game, since he's well-ahead in the voting with 2,924,686 votes to White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez's 2,325,527.
Ramirez went 1-for-4 with two RBIs in his club's 3-2 win over the Angels, which featured a rare off night for Los Angeles outfielder Mike Trout (0-for-4, three strikeouts), who is second to Bautista in the voting but still has 4,085,647 tallies to virtually assure him of a start in the AL's outfield on July 15.
Otherwise, it was a good night for the AL's leading vote-getters in the designated hitter category. Nelson Cruz of the Orioles, who leads with 2,944,267 votes, went 1-for-4 against the Rangers and drove in a run to increase his total to 68. And Boston's David Ortiz, second to Cruz in the voting at 1,948,211, went 2-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored.
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 Gillette Home Run Derby. The 2014 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 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the Taco Bell All-Star Selection Show on Sunday, July 6, beginning at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, 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.