Four Royals players elected to start in MLB All-Star Game
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game will have a Kansas City flavor, just not as much as it appeared last month.
And the hometown Reds can celebrate a starter, too, despite Cincinnati’s sorry season.
Four Royals players were voted to the American League starting lineup for the game, matching an AL record for most fan-elected starters from a single team.
AL champion Kansas City will be represented in the starting lineup by outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon, catcher Salvador Perez and shortstop Alcides Escobar.
Eight Royals were on track to start in vote totals announced June 15, but first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas, second baseman Omar Infante and designated hitter Kendrys Morales were overtaken in the voting.
Kansas City had not had any starters since outfielder Jermaine Dye in 2000.
The results were announced Sunday for the July 14 game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
“Winning brings attention, and that’s what we’ve been doing,” Gordon said. “I think we play with a lot of energy, a lot of fun. People have noticed it.”
Royals manager Ned Yost, manager of the AL team, has already made one decision: Cain will play right field and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels will play center. Trout will make his fourth straight All-Star appearance.
Toronto’s Josh Donaldson will start at third on the AL squad for the second straight year after receiving a record vote total of 14.09 million, topping Josh Hamilton’s 11.07 million in 2012. Trout was second this year with 14 million.
Seattle’s Nelson Cruz, suspended for the final 50 games of the 2013 season for violating baseball’s drug agreement, was also elected to start on the AL squad for the second straight year.
Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier leapfrogged St. Louis third baseman Matt Carpenter to make the National League starting lineup.
Washington outfielder Bryce Harper set a mark for NL players with 13.86 million votes, topping the previous record of 7.62 million set three years ago by San Francisco catcher Buster Posey, who was elected to start again this year.
Other NL starters include Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, Miami second baseman Dee Gordon and St. Louis shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who also was suspended 50 games following Major League Baseball’s investigation of the Biogenesis of America clinic.
MLB said 620 million votes were cast, breaking the old mark of 391 million in 2012.
At least two elected starters will miss the game because of injuries: Miami outfielder Giancarlo Stanton broke a hand on June 26 and Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera hurt his left calf Friday. In addition, the Cardinals’ Matt Holliday, who finished third among NL outfielders behind Harper and Stanton, has been sidelined since June 8 when he strained his quadriceps muscle and is uncertain when he will return.
Each fan could cast up to 35 ballots in online voting. Pitchers and reserves will be announced Monday.
AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Missouri, contributed to this report.