DETROIT -- The first day for the Tigers' campaign to get Joaquin Benoit into the All-Star Game vaulted the reliever from fourth to third in the 2013 All-Star Final Vote, but he dropped back to fourth when the latest results were released Thursday morning.
Each player on the Tigers wore a bright orange shirt during batting practice on Wednesday with the slogan "Vote Benoit" on the front and "#BackBenoit" on the back to show their support for their teammate.
"He's very consistent, he knows his role on the team," infielder Ramon Santiago said. "He's a very important part of the bullpen, and he's a very important part of this team."
Benoit had seemed to be benefiting from the tag-team push from the Tigers and Giants to form a voting alliance between Benoit and Hunter Pence. A county-by-county breakdown of votes on MLB.com showed Benoit now leading the AL vote in most of central and northern California. Pence ranks third in the NL Final Vote.
On Monday the Tigers and Giants announced the Final Vote partnership, encouraging Detroit fans to vote for Benoit as well as Pence, and vice versa. The teams unveiled the #BackBenoit and #BackPence hashtags, the official tags to be used to vote for the pair during today's social media voting period between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET, which also marks the final six hours of voting.
The partnership has given a boost to Benoit's chances at his first-ever All-Star selection after 3 1/2 years as one of the best setup men in the game, and so far a perfect mark as the Tigers' closer.
"I think Benoit's been so valuable for three years," manager Jim Leyland said. "I think part of him being put on was not only this year, but for everything he's done for us. He's numbers are great, and I think he deserves to be recognized."
Now in its 12th year, the 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Saturday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Taco Bell and will end today at 4 p.m. ET. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote online. If you are not a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you are eligible to receive a 14-day free trial of MLB.TV from July 12-26. If you are a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you will receive a 15 percent discount to the MLB.com Shop. MLB.com will send an email on Friday to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.
Mobile voting in the U.S. and Canada is open to everyone. In the U.S., to receive the 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for Benoit, simply text message A1 to 89269. In Canada, fans should text A1 to 101010. Standard message and data rates may apply. To vote for another player via text message, use the codes below.
A1 - Joaquin Benoit, Detroit
A2 - Steve Delabar, Toronto
A3 - David Robertson, New York Yankees
A4 - Tanner Scheppers, Texas
A5 - Koji Uehara, Boston
N1 - Ian Desmond, Washington
N2 - Freddie Freeman, Atlanta
N3 - Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles
N4 - Hunter Pence, San Francisco
N5 - Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles
For the second consecutive year, the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com (#FinalVote), will include a social balloting element as Twitter support from the candidates' fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their final vote totals. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the overall vote total used to determine the AL and NL winners. Fans may follow @MLB on the popular social networking service for the latest standings updates in advance of the 4 p.m. EDT balloting deadline.
The fun doesn't end there, however. Fans, having already decided the starters and final player on each team, once again will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2013 All-Star Game MVP Vote on MLB.com during the All-Star Game.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, 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 also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.