All-Star Game hopefuls shine bright in Los Angeles
Tribe's Brantley shows off his arm and bat; Puig, Gordon combine for five hits
With All-star voting coming to a close Thursday, Major League Baseball's most dominant players continued to battle for their spots as the calendar turned to July.
Though a few of the big names struggled Tuesday, many kicked the month off with strong performances.
Michael Brantley, the Indians' lone contender for an All-Star starting spot, sits in sixth place among American League outfielders. He outshined the Dodgers' four All-Star hopefuls Tuesday, as Cleveland defeated Los Angeles, 10-3. Brantley went 2-for-5 and started the Indians' first triple play since April 3, 2011.
A pair of Dodgers All-Star candidates also posted big nights, however. Dee Gordon, ranked third among National League second basemen, went 3-for-4, and Yasiel Puig, ranked third in the outfield race, went 2-for-5. (Both were cut down on the basepaths as part of the triple play, which was only confirmed after two replay reviews.)
In Chicago, the Angels' Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and Mike Trout all homered in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the White Sox.
Led by Drew Hutchison's 10 strikeouts, the Blue Jays defeated the Brewers, 4-1, on Canada Day. Jose Bautista, who leads not only AL outfielders, but the entire league in votes, homered in his first at-bat of his first start back from a strained left hamstring. Outfielder Melky Cabrera, who has dropped a spot and is now in fourth place behind Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes, tripled in the eighth.
Despite a tough loss for the D-backs, Paul Goldschmidt had a strong night at the plate for Arizona. Goldschmidt leads all first basemen in the NL and went 2-for-3 in a 3-2 loss on Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia sits in third among AL second basemen, and he had a strong night Tuesday at the plate. With three hits, he produced nearly half of Boston's offense, and he went 3-for-5 with the lone Red Sox RBI in a 2-1 loss to the Cubs.
Robinson Cano, who leads that category, went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run in Seattle's 13-2 rout of the Astros.
Finally, Evan Longoria and Derek Jeter matched up evenly Tuesday, each going 2-for-4 in the Bronx. Longoria is third among AL third baseman, and Jeter is first among shortstops. Jeter doubled and scored the tying run in Tampa Bay's eventual 2-1 victory.
"I'm gonna miss seeing Jeter out on the field, but I'm not gonna miss him in the box," said Rays pitcher David Price of the retiring Yankees captain. "I feel like, if I had a lineup full of 40-year-old Derek Jeters, I might not make it through the fifth. It's tough, man. He is who he is, that's what makes him special."
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 at 11:59 p.m. 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.
Fans this year once again can participate in the. 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 7 p.m. CT 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 beginning at 6 p.m. CT 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.