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J. Upton seeking fans' backing for All-Star berth

PHILADELPHIA -- Justin Upton has posted borderline All-Star numbers in the first half, but on a Braves roster packed with talent, he's had a difficult time finding the fan support to get him an invite to the Midsummer Classic.

Upton entered Sunday hitting .281 with 16 homers, 46 RBIs and 40 runs. But in the most recent balloting, the Braves' slugger came in at ninth for outfielders in the NL. The top three vote-getters -- the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen and Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez -- were safely above 2,400,000 votes, while Upon had amassed 1,203,302.

Upton, an All-Star in 2009 and '11, is on a team that boasts many All-Star candidates. First baseman Freddie Freeman, catcher Evan Gattis, starter Julio Teheran and closer Craig Kimbrel have all made strong cases for selections. That fact alone has hindered Upton's chances, as even with his impressive numbers in 2014, the spotlight in Atlanta has been equally shone on a myriad of worthy players.

Still, Upton continues to give fans reason to punch his name on the ballot. Entering Sunday's contest against the Phillies, Upton was hitting .303 (10-for-33) on Atlanta's trip.

Fans can cast their votes for starters at -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.

Erik Bacharach is an associate reporter for
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