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Moose leading AL Final Vote candidates

KC third baseman has 24 HRs; balloting ends Thursday at 3 p.m. CT
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- There's a Moose on the loose once again, and things are trending in his direction toward a spot in Miami.

Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was one of the early leaders Tuesday morning as the first update came in for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote (#FinalVote), and that afternoon he launched yet another home run, his 24th of the season, which is two more than his previous career high.

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SEATTLE -- There's a Moose on the loose once again, and things are trending in his direction toward a spot in Miami.

Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was one of the early leaders Tuesday morning as the first update came in for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote (#FinalVote), and that afternoon he launched yet another home run, his 24th of the season, which is two more than his previous career high.

View Full Game Coverage

Moustakas got a hanging curveball from Mariners starter Felix Hernandez in the July 4 matinee at Safeco Field and launched it into the seats in right-center field. He has homered in each of the two games in Seattle and is well on pace to smash the Kansas City franchise record of 36 homers in a season set by Steve Balboni in 1985.

Cast your Esurance Final Vote for Moustakas

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"Against [Hernandez], you have to have a good plan," Moustakas said after Tuesday's game, a 7-3 Kansas City win. "You got to have something you can hold your hat on, and I was just looking for something out over the plate."

Moustakas didn't miss it, and hasn't missed much lately. And it's fitting that it's happening right now, because he will participate in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Marlins Park on Monday and was leading the American League Final Five with 4.4 million votes as of Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, the National League player he's partnered with, Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, was leading the NL. 

Video: KC@SEA: Moustakas drills two-run jack to right-center

Moustakas is up against Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus and Rays first baseman Logan Morrison in the Final Vote, held exclusively online via MLB.com and the individual club sites. Moustakas, who also won the 2015 Final Vote, has a chance to become the second two-time winner of the honor along with Shane Victorino ('09 and '11).

Voting this year ends at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday. Fans can show their support for Moustakas by tweeting with #VoteMoose, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, any tweet that includes #VoteMoose will count toward his vote total.

"It's definitely cool," Moustakas said. "The guys in this clubhouse and the people in Kansas City are incredibly supportive, so I'm lucky to have them in my corner."

Video: KC@SEA: Moustakas on Final Vote, Home Run Derby

Balloting is underway through 4 p.m. ET Thursday in the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote, running right through the fireworks and deciding the 32nd and final roster spots for both teams at the 88th Midsummer Classic on July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami.

Now in its 16th season, with more than 680 million votes cast, the Final Vote again will include social votes on the last day of balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the final six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET on Thursday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.

On Tuesday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m. ET, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Mike Moustakas