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Bogaerts in striking distance for Final Vote

Special to MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- There's still ample time for Red Sox fans to send shortstop Xander Bogaerts to the 88th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

In the first balloting update for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas has 4.4 million votes, followed by Bogaerts, Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, Elvis Andrus and Rays first baseman Logan Morrison.

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ARLINGTON -- There's still ample time for Red Sox fans to send shortstop Xander Bogaerts to the 88th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

In the first balloting update for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas has 4.4 million votes, followed by Bogaerts, Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, Elvis Andrus and Rays first baseman Logan Morrison.

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"I'm glad," said Bogaerts, who is looking to reach his second consecutive Midsummer Classic. "Second is close. I finished last [during the Final Vote in 2015], but obviously we've got some work to do."

Cast your Esurance Final Vote for Bogaerts

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Fans can vote for Bogaerts via text message up to 35 times per phone until Thursday's deadline. To vote for Bogaerts, text A2 to 89269. Message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Voting ends at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Fans can also show their support for Bogaerts by tweeting with #VoteX, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, any tweet that includes #VoteX will count toward his vote total.

Fans who vote for Bogaerts will also be entered for a chance to win two tickets to a Red Sox game and an autographed Bogaerts jersey.

Bogaerts is batting .308 with 20 doubles, five homers and 39 RBIs in 78 games this season. He sits back on curves and sliders as well as any hitter in baseball, often putting himself in position to uncork one of his signature line drives to the gaps.

Tweet from @RedSox: We've got Pitbull playing & we're heading to Miami! Let's take Bogey with us! #VoteX: https://t.co/TNu271yiIB pic.twitter.com/9EaGtLHUSc

Bogaerts' 38.2 percent line-drive rate on his batted-ball contact against breaking balls ranks third-highest among qualified hitters (min. 50 batted balls off breaking pitches), and the shortstop has gone a scorching 19-for-26 (.731) when lining curves and slider this season.

Bogaerts' performance is certainly All-Star worthy, said Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who counts himself as one of Bogaerts' many supporters.

"He's been, from start to now, the most consistent offensive player -- not only on our team, but one of them in the American League," Pedroia said. "Obviously, playing with him I think he deserves to be there and deserves to be an All-Star. What he's done is pretty impressive. His all-around game, what he brings when he steps in the box, defensively, running the bases, speed, power, there's nothing he can't do to take over a game. He's one of the best players in baseball."

Interactive map: Where are the votes coming from?

The Red Sox and Cubs have formed a strategic alliance hoping to get Bogaerts and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant elected by having their fans team up to vote for both players. Bryant is also second in the NL voting, trailing the Dodgers' Justin Turner.

Fans can cast ballots on MLB.com, club sites and mobile devices until Thursday at 4 p.m. ET. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will be announced during MLB Tonight, live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday. Fans can vote for Bogaerts via text message up to 35 times per phone until Thursday's deadline.

Extensive coverage throughout the Final Vote will be provided by MLB Network and MLB.com, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns, and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.

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.

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas and covered the Red Sox on Tuesday.

Boston Red Sox, Xander Bogaerts