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Push Buster, Crawford over top in balloting

Posey holding off Cubs' Contreras among catchers; SF shortstop holds big lead
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

DENVER -- Buster Posey can't assume that he'll be an All-Star once again. The fan vote to select the National League's starting catcher remained too close to call in Monday's final balloting update.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

DENVER -- Buster Posey can't assume that he'll be an All-Star once again. The fan vote to select the National League's starting catcher remained too close to call in Monday's final balloting update.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

Posey, the Giants' five-time All-Star backstop, is in line to win his fourth consecutive fan-elected start and become the first NL catcher to earn four consecutive fan elections since Hall of Famer Mike Piazza (nine straight with the Dodgers and Mets, 1994-2002). Moreover, Posey would become just the third Giants player to garner four consecutive starting assignments since balloting was returned to the fans in 1970. First baseman Will Clark (four straight, 1988-91) and outfielder Barry Bonds (five in a row, 2000-04) are the others.

But Chicago's Willson Contreras stayed hot on Posey's heels with a total of 1,240,132 votes compared to Posey's 1,384,631. And third-place Kurt Suzuki of Atlanta couldn't be totally counted out, given his 1,174,470 total.

Unlike Posey, Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford is virtually assured of a trip to Washington for the Midsummer Classic. Crawford's 2,303,516 vote total nearly doubles that of his closest rival, Atlanta's Dansby Swanson (1,162,263).

Video: COL@SF: Crawford cranks walk-off long ball in 9th

Brandon Belt, who ranks third among NL first basemen, Joe Panik (fourth among second basemen) and Andrew McCutchen (13th among outfielders) are the other Giants in the Top 5 at their respective positions.

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday at 8:59 p.m. PT. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of this year's All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league's roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey