Results tagged ‘ Asdrubal Cabrera ’

One of those losses that hurts a bit more

All losses hurts, especially those in a pennant race. Yet some have more of a sting than others. Such a loss occurred to the Yankees Saturday, a 3-2 setback to Tampa Bay that combined with Toronto’s 5-1 victory over Baltimore pushed them back to 1 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays in the American League East.

The frustration showed in the way Didi Gregorius slammed down his bat after he made the third out of the eighth inning on a vicious line drive caught by Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe that left the bases loaded.

The Yankees, trailing by a run, seemed to have a game-turning rally in place against Tampa Bay righthander Alex Colome, who was hit hard enough throughout the eighth that he got gun shy and loss sight of the plate.

Even the two outs that began the inning were well struck, a hard grounder up the middle by Alex Rodriguez into an over-shift and a smoking liner to first baseman James Loney by Carlos Beltran. Chase Headley worked the count to 3-2 before drilling a single to center. Greg Bird followed with a rope to left for another single.

Colome wanted no part of Brian McCann, pinch hitting for John Ryan Murphy, and walked him on five pitches to fill the bags. Now there was no place to put Gregorius, but Colome fell behind 2-0 before getting a called strike on an automatic take by the Yanks shortstop.

It would have been a good time for Gregorius to make up some of the discrepancy in his home-and-away splits. He had doubled in a run back in the fifth off starter Mike Moore and eventually came around to score the Yankees’ second run on two infield outs. Didi had a good cut at the 2-1 pitch, but the lazar of a liner hit leather.

Manager Joe Girardi was not taken aback by Gregorius’ act of frustration. In fact, the skipper approved it. Showing emotion in that circumstance was understandable and reflected frustration all around by Yankees hitters whose return from a rambunctious trip has been calmed by two games of limited production. The Yanks won Friday night primarily because three of their four hits were home runs. They totaled only five hits Saturday and were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. They had no such at-bats Friday night.

Gregorius was a big part of the Yankees’ 5-1 trip through Atlanta and Boston as he hit .583 with seven runs, one double, two home runs and 10 RBI. That raised his road record this year to .317 with eight doubles, one triple, three home runs and 26 RBI. At Yankee Stadium, the picture has not been so rosy as Gregorius has been a .222 hitter with 10 doubles, five home runs and 19 RBI.

It is not the time for bats to turn cold. In Moore, the Yankees were facing a pitcher who has struggled since returning from Tommy John surgery (8.04 ERA) and a Rays lineup that lost slugger Evan Longoria in the fifth inning with a hand injury from being hit with a pitch. In addition, the Yankees must contend in Sunday’s series finale with righthander Chris Archer, who is 5-0 with a 1.78 ERA in eight career starts against them.

Nathan Eovaldi lost for the first time in 14 starts since June 16 and had a nine-game winning streak end. He gave up three runs on a couple of two-out hits — singles by Kevin Kiermaier for one run in the second and by Astrubal Cabrera for two runs in the third. The righthander walked four batters, hit one and struck out seven in losing for the first time this year in 13 starts this year at the Stadium where he is now 5-1.

Well, one streak ended Saturday, so perhaps one can end again Sunday.

Weary bullpen costly to Phelps and Yanks

With a spent bullpen from Wednesday night’s 14-inning marathon, the Yankees did not have much fortification for Thursday night’s starter, David Phelps. Looking at the 9-3 Indians final, it may be hard to believe that it was a 3-0 game through six innings and all Yankees at that.

Phelps sustained his fourth straight no-decision, and this one really hurt. He pitched very well in spots, wiggled out of danger at other times and was working on a five-hit shutout going into the seventh inning. But when the first two Cleveland batters singled, Yankees manager Joe Girardi decided to make a change. Three batters later, the Yankees’ lead was gone.

Lefthander Matt Thornton gave up an infield single to Jason Kipnis that loaded the bases. Asdrubal followed with a drive into the right field corner for a bases-clearing triple that tied the score and left Phelps with yet another ND. Jacoby Ellsbury’s dazzling catch of a Michael Brantley prevented another Indians hit, but it was a sacrifice fly that gave the Tribe the lead.

Righthander Jim Miller could not stop the bleeding in the eighth when the Indians struck for five more runs on five hits, including two-run home runs by catcher Roberto Perez, who had a strong major-league debut (3-for-4, 1 walk, 2 RBI) and Carlos Santana.

The turnaround was a real shame for Phelps, who has not had much to show for an impressive string of starts. Over his past six outings, Phelps is 2-0 with a 3.13 ERA. Considering the state of the Yankees’ rotation, four-fifths of which have landed on the disabled list, Phelps has proved a real boon for the Yankees.

The Indians’ late outburst only served to illuminate early missed opportunities by the Yankees to pile on to their lead. They left 11 runners on base over the first six innings, twice standing the bags loaded.

A couple of Triple A call-ups were responsible for the Yankees’ offense. Zelous Wheeler hit a two-run home run in the fourth. One inning later, Yangervis Solarte, just back from Scranton with Carlos Beltran on the 7-day concussion list, singled in a run. Derek Jeter had two hits for his 1,000th career multi-hit game, only the sixth major-leaguer since 1900 to reach that plateau. Ichiro Suzuki’s pinch single in the eighth inning was his 2,800th hit in the majors on top of the 1,278 he had in Japan. Suzuki might have been called on to pitch if Miller had been unable to get the third out of the eighth inning.

The loss was a blow to the Yankees going into a three-game set at Baltimore. The Orioles beat Washington to move four games ahead of the Yankees in the American League East standings, which means the Yankees cannot move into first place even with a series sweep the weekend before the All-Star break.

Yankees win marathon at end of gloomy day

It took 14 innings and 4 hours, 51 minutes, but the Yankees finally found something to smile about Wednesday after hearing the depressing news earlier in the day that Masahiro Tanaka won’t be around for the rest of this trip.

The Yankees went seven innings without scoring before Jacoby Ellsbury homered off Indians righthander Vinnie Pestano with two out in the 14th to take a 5-4 lead. They then had to sweat through the bottom half as the Tribe got a runner to second base with one out. David Robertson struck out Asdrubal Cabrera and notched his 22nd save when Zoilo Almonte ran down Michael Brantley’s drive to left field.

The game came close to ending in Cleveland’s favor in the 10th when David Huff, one of eight Yankees pitcher, walked the bases loaded with one out. Shawn Kelley came to the rescue with a big strikeout of Nick Swisher and withstood a long foul down the right field line by David Murphy before retiring him on a ground ball to shortstop.

Brandon McCarthy was the 10th different pitcher to start for the Yankees this season. There could be an 11th Sunday night in place of Tanaka, who went on the 15-day disabled list because of right elbow inflammation, unless Chase Whitley returns to the rotation. Whitley pitched two innings of one-hit, three-strikeout relief to get the winning decision Wednesday night.

McCarthy found out right away what it can be like for a Yankees starter when two regulars were out of the lineup. Left fielder Brett Gardner was nursing an abdominal strain. Designated hitter Carlos Beltran was supposed to return to the lineup after missing two games because of a swollen right knee. But during batting practice, a ball Beltran hit ricocheted off the cage and struck him in the face.

Derek Jeter, who was originally slated for a night off, had to take over at DH. Brian Roberts, who was to have batted in DJ’s usual second spot in the order, was dropped to Beltran’s 5-hole. Almonte, just called up from Triple A Scranton, was in left field, and another recent call-up, Zelous Wheeler, was at third base. I can’t remember the last time the Yankees had two guys whose names begin with ‘Z’ in the lineup at the same time.

McCarthy, a 6-foot-7 righthander who was only 3-10 for Arizona this year, got off to a quirky start as the Indians scored three runs off him in the first inning, although none was earned because of a throwing error by Mark Teixeira. Throwing to second base trying for a double play after fielding a grounder by Carlos Santana, Tex hit Brantley, the runner, which loaded the bases with one out.

An infield out, which should have been the third of the inning, brought in one run, and Swisher delivered two more with a single to right-center. Swish continued his punishment of his old club in this series. He homered in each of the prior two games.

Teixeira made up for his wayward throw by getting those three runs back for McCarthy with a pair of home runs off Indians starter Josh Tomlin. Brian McCann also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the Yankees’ three-run fifth as they took the lead.

McCarthy couldn’t maintain it, however. Cabrera doubled with one out in the bottom of the fifth and scored on a two-out single by Santana. Still, it was a favorable first outing for the pitcher recently obtained in a trade for lefthander Vidal Nuno. McCarthy gave them what Nuno did not always provide, distance. McCarthy lasted for 6 2/3 innings and displayed a decent sinker. Of his 20 outs, 12 were on ground balls and two others were in the infield to go with three strikeouts.

Yanks prevail despite spotty Pettitte start

Triumphant was not the word for Andy Pettitte’s return from the disabled list Monday night, but the Yankees triumphed anyway. The lefthander did not survive the fifth inning, retired the side in order only once and squandered a three-run lead in his second consecutive unsuccessful attempt for career victory No. 250.

Pettitte pitched from the stretch a good portion of his 83-pitch outing, his 500th career start, in which he allowed four earned runs, seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts and two wild pitches in 4 2/3 innings. It was by no means classic Pettitte, who was in trouble in nearly every inning. Perhaps it was a matter of rust, but at a time when the Yankees are in search of anything to get through this rough patch Pettitte was simply not his usual self.

It showed mostly in the fifth when he coughed up the 4-1 lead given him two innings earlier by Mark Teixeira’s eighth career grand slam on a liner into the front row of the right field stands off Indians ace Justin Masterson. That was a big blow for Tex, whose name was being smeared all day by talk-radio smart alecks who dumped on him for his slow start (1-for-9, seven strikeouts) after missing seven weeks with a severe right wrist injury.

“We got more hits and walks in one inning off Masterson than we did the whole game the last time we faced him,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, noting that the Cleveland righthander pitched a four-hit, no-walk shutout against them May 13 at Progressive Field.

Pettitte posted a shutdown inning in the fourth, which was good to see, but got into immediate trouble in the fifth when Drew Stubbs led off with a double to right-center. An infield hit by Michael Bourn put runners on the corners. Mike Aviles knocked in a run with a rarely-seen sacrifice fly to second base. Actually, the ball was in shallow center field where Robinson Cano made the catch with his back to the infield and could not get the throw home in time to prevent Stubbs from scoring.

Pettitte got a big second out when Asdrubal Cabrera grounded out and pulled up lame running to first base and had to come out of the game because of a right quad strain. Pettitte lost the plate as he walked Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds to load the bases. Carlos Santana supplied the fatal blow with a smoking, one-hopper past off the glove of third baseman David Adams that bounced into the stands for a two-run double that tied the score and ended Pettitte’s night.

That cost Andy any chance for a winning decision, but his teammates got him off the hook for a possible losing decision when they rallied with two out in the sixth to regain the lead, 6-4, on a two-run single by Brett Gardner. Masterson made a questionable decision to cut off Bourn’s peg home from center between the mound and the plate because the second runner, Austin Romine, a catcher, was quite a ways up the line when the pitcher gloved the ball, a break for the Yankees.

Travis Hafner put the finishing touches on the Yankees’ 7-4 victory with a home run off his old teammates in the seventh. Shawn Kelley (3-0), Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera (20th save) picked up Pettitte with 4 1/3 scoreless innings of one-hit relief.

Commissioner comes to Jeter’s defense

PHOENIX – Derek Jeter’s name has been bandied about quit a quite a bit at the All-Star Game, and it has not always been flattering. Several team officials and a few players have commented that Jeter should have come here for the game even if he did not intend to play. The situation got to the point that commissioner Bud Selig felt it was necessary for him to nip it in the, well, bud.

The commish made his annual appearance at the Baseball Writers’ Association of America meeting Tuesday afternoon at the Sheraton Phoenix Hotel for a question-and-answer session with the writers and addressed the controversy surrounding Jeter, who decided not to come here so that he could use the time to rest his right calf to be ready for the second half.

“There isn’t a player than I’m more proud of in the last 15 years than Derek Jeter,” Selig said before taking questions. “He has played the game like it should be played. He is even a better human being off the field than he is a great player on the field. I know why Derek Jeter isn’t here, and I respect that. I think I would have made the same decision Derek Jeter did.

“He has brought to this sport great pride. He has been a role model. He has earned it, and he keeps earning it. Any suggestion that I or anybody else around here is unhappy with him not being here is false. I am proud of what he has done. I told him that Saturday when I spoke with him on the phone [after getting his 3,000th hit], and I have told him that quite often.”

Sitting at the front table while Selig spoke was the vice president of baseball operations, a fellow named Joe Torre, who was Jeter’s first manager with the Yankees, and nodded with approval at the commissioner’s every sentence.

I was glad to hear Bud go on the record about this matter because some of the talk the day before during the workouts was a bit nasty. More than one player suggested that Jeter was not grateful to the fans for voting him into the American League starting lineup when he didn’t really deserve it. For all we know, DJ’s choice not to play could have been one way to assure that the Indians’ Asdrubal Cabrera got to start the game.

There is nothing new about players passing up the All-Star Game for health reasons. I have been around Derek Jeter for 16 years and know how much he enjoys going to the All-Star Game and all the festivities around it. He has always considered his Most Valuable Player Award from the 2000 game at Turner Field in Atlanta one of the top moments of his career (although not as much as his World Series MVP the same year in the Yankees’ triumph over the Mets).

Jeter just got over a three-week recovery period from a strained calf muscle. He is 37, not 27, and has been under a ton of pressure to get over the 3,000-hit hump at Yankee Stadium rather than disappoint his fans by reaching the milestone on the road. This was all pretty draining, so cut him some slack. DJ would rather sit out a game that doesn’t count in the standings than not be as close to 100 percent as possible in a Yankees regular-season game.

One player here told me one of the reasons some players were sniping at Jeter is because they wanted to get autographs themselves from the newest member of the 3,000 Hit Club. At All-Star Games, players are signing all kinds of things, from baseballs to pictures to gloves to bats, you name it. There are quite a few items that are signed by every player on a league roster, which are a lot more valuable if a player who just reached 3,000 career hits is on there.

An All-Star who summed up the situation best was White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, who said, “I promise you his injury is not 100 percent. Nobody ever comes back from an injury in the middle of the season at 100 percent. It’s never gone. So he’s playing with it, I guarantee you that. It is one of those things where I understand people voted him in and wanted to see him, but if there is any guy in the game who bought a rain check for one of these, he’s the one. Let’s move on and not make such a big deal about it.”

And believe it or not, Yankees fans, another of the Captain’s major supporters was Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. “If he’s not here, there’s a good reason for it,” Big Papi said.

I wrote the other day that what Jeter and Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez were doing by not coming to the All-Star Game while nursing ailments was justified. As for coming out here just to wave to the fans, well, that would have been nice (except for A-Rod, who would have to leave a hospital bed), but what would be the point?

In an indirect way, Mo’s decision allowed AL manager Ron Washington of the Rangers to make an All-Star of David Robertson, which was fitting. A lot of the people who were criticizing Jeter had no explanation for why CC Sabathia was not an obvious choice for the AL staff based on his pitching in the first half. You can’t have it both ways, guys.

Tribe opens door for Yanks and CC

After two straight games in which fielding miscues were major parts of losses, the Yankees had the tables turn in their favor Tuesday night at Cleveland. The Indians’ failure to turn what looked like a sure double play opened the doors for the Yanks to put up a five-spot in the second inning.

Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco, who had not walked a batter in his previous two starts, got himself in trouble with back-to-back walks to Jorge Posada and Brett Gardner that loaded the bases in the second inning with one out. The rally seemed dead when Francisco Cervelli hit a bouncing ball to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.

Here is where Gardner’s speed comes in. Second baseman Cord Phelps took the toss from Cabrera for the out at second, but Gardner got close enough to the bag to make a takeout slide that forced Phelps to hurry his throw. It bounced in front of Carlos Santana, a catcher by trade who was playing first base. Mark Teixeira would have handled that throw easily, but Santana, essentially out of position, couldn’t make the play.

Nick Swisher scored on the play, which of course he would not have if the third out had been made at first base. Next came the floodgates for Carrasco, who gave up a two-run double to Derek Jeter and a two-run home run to Curtis Granderson that gave the Yankee a sudden 5-0 lead that appeared enormous considering CC Sabathia was on the hill for them.

The Yankees have blessed Sabathia with the most run support (7.5 runs per game) of any starter in the American League this year. After Granderson homered a second time in the fourth inning to make the score 6-0, it marked the 10th time in Sabathia’s 19 starts that the Yankees scored six or more runs.

The score got to 9-0 while CC was in the game, which was for seven innings in which he did not allow a run, scattered five hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts to run his record to 12-4 with a 2.90 ERA. Sabathia’s 12 victories before the All-Star break two years in a row makes him the first Yankees pitcher to do that since Tommy John in 1979-80. Sabathia has won five straight starts and nine of 10.

CC will have one more start before the All-Star break Sunday at Yankee Stadium, which is said to be the reason he was not put on the AL All-Star roster because he would not be able to pitch. But how dumb will it look Tuesday night in Phoenix when the AL squad is announced before the game and Sabathia isn’t standing there with them?

Robinson Cano was named one of the four AL representatives in the Home Run Dereby (with David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez of the Red Sox and Juan Bautista of the Blue Jays against the National League’s Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks of the Brewers, Matt Kemp of the Dodgers and Matt Holliday of the Cardinals).

Meanwhile, Granderson is having a Home Run Derby of his own in the regular season. Two more bombs giving him three in four at-bats raised his season total to 25 to tie Teixeira for the club lead. Grandy is only five jacks short of his career high, and there are 78 more games to go.

Granderson had three hits and was joined by seven teammates with two apiece, including Jeter, who raised his career total to 2,996. With only one more game left on the trip, it is looking good that DJ will get to 3,000 at Yankee Stadium where the Yankees return Thursday night for a four-game series against the Rays.

2 ex-Yanks beat former mates

A couple of former Yankees combined to beat their old team Monday night at Cleveland in a 6-3 Indians victory that was a scoreless pitching duel for six innings between A.J. Burnett and the Tribe’s Josh Tomlin.

The key hits in Cleveland’s four-run seventh inning were an RBI single by Shelley Duncan and a three-run home run by Austin Kearns.

Duncan, son of Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, played in 68 games over the 2007, ’08 and ’09 seasons with the Yankees and batted .219 with 8 home runs and 24 RBI in 146 at-bats. Kearns was a mid-season acquisition by the Yankees last year and hit .235 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI in 36 games and 102 at-bats. The second of those homers came Aug. 22, and was the last one he hit before Monday night.

An irony is that neither Duncan nor Kearns might have batted that inning had Alex Rodriguez or Brett Gardner been able to catch a foul ball near the left field line by Lonnie Chisenhill. There were two outs and a runner on second base with Burnett holding a 2-0 lead when Chisenhill hit the foul ball.

A-Rod, running with his back to the infield, seemed to have a beat on the ball, so Gardner sort of backed off, but the ball fell free. Chisenhill eventually walked, Burnett’s second base on balls of the inning. That brought up Duncan, who won a seven-pitch at-bat with a flare single to right that made the score 2-1. Burnett lost the lead when he grooved a 1-0 fastball to Kearns, who crushed the pitch and drove it through the wind blowing in from right field at Progressive Field.

It marked the second straight game when a fielding miscue factored in a Yankees loss. An error by shortstop Ramiro Pena proved costly in the Yankees’ 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Mets Sunday at Citi Field.

Curtis Granderson made it a one-run game in the eighth with his 23rd home run, but Corey Wade gave up his first runs as a Yankee in eight games in the bottom half when he gave up a single to Travis Hafner and a home run to Carlos Santana.

It was a whole different game over the first six innings. Tomlin, who improved his record to 10-4, had a no-hitter through six that was broken up by Mark Teixeira’s leadoff single in the seventh. Nick Swisher followed a one-out, infield single by Robinson Cano with a double to left-center for two runs. The Yankees failed to get Swisher home as Jorge Posada and Russell Martin both grounded out.

Burnett entered the seventh working on a two-hit shutout with both hits by All Star Game-bound shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. A.J. seemed more upset after the game about the two walks in the seventh rather than the two hits. He was right, too. Those hits became productive for the Indians because of the walks.

It was a disappointing return for Derek Jeter, who was hitless in four at-bats and remains at 2,994 for his career.

All-Star voting down to last 3 days

With three days remaining in the fans’ balloting for the Major League All-Star Game July 12 at Chase Field in Phoenix, the Yankees remain in first place in five of the nine positions for the American League squad. Make sure to get your vote in to ensure your favorite Yankees make the trip to Arizona.

Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson are just about locks at second base and in the outfield, respectively. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have substantial leads at their respective positions of shortstop and third base, and Russell Martin is still the leader of the pack among catchers.

Cano’s vote total of 4,724,816 is second among all AL players to only Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, who has 5,263,840, and well ahead of second-place second baseman Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox at 2,979,181.

There is a race heating up in the outfield for the third spot alongside Bautista and Granderson (4,582,419). The Rangers’ Josh Hamilton has 3,173,000 votes, which is only 121,325 ahead of the Red Sox’ Jacoby Ellsbury. The Yankees’ Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner ranked eighth and ninth, respectively, among outfielders.

The Yankees are trying to nail down three-quarters of the infield spots. Jeter has 3,392,128 votes and a 506,350-vote lead over second-place shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera of the Indians. A-Rod’s total of 3,735,406 is 800,033 ahead of third base runner-up Adrian Beltre of the Rangers. At first base, unfortunately, the Red Sox’ Adrian Gonzalez with 4,014,722 has moved out to a 937,480-vote head over Mark Teixeira, who is tied with Bautista for the AL home run lead.

Martin, trying for his first All-Star starting assignment, has gotten a huge break with the injury to the Twins’ Joe Mauer and has a 434,527-vote edge over the Tigers’ Alex Avila. Boston’s David Ortiz is a runaway leader at designated hitter with 4,237,014, more than two million higher than his closest competitor, the Rangers’ Michael Young. The Yankees’ Jorge Posada is running third with 1,453,385.

Fans may cast votes for starters up to 25 times exclusively at and all 30 club web sites, including, online or via their mobile devices with the 2011 All-Star Game Ballot Sponsored by Sprint, which offers English- and Spanish-language versions of the online ballot as well as audio CAPTCHA functionality for the visually impaired. Voting runs until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 30.

Last week of All-Star voting

The Yankees are still leading in five positions of the American League voting for the All-Star Game July 12 at Chase Field in Phoenix. There are eight days remaining in the balloting for fans to make sure a large contingent of Yankees players qualify for the AL starting lineup.

Second baseman Robinson Cano is the second leading vote-getter among AL players with 3,664,498 behind only Blue Jays right fielder Juan Bautista (4,156,940). Cano’s lead is more than a million votes over runner-up Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox.

Also leading in the infield are shortstop Derek Jeter and third baseman Alex Rodriguez. Despite being on the disabled list since June 14, Jeter has totaled 2,654,040 and is ahead of the Indians’ Asdrubal Cabrera (2,242,157). A-Rod has 2,876,537 votes and leads by more than half a million over the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre (2,307,380).

Curtis Granderson ranks second among the outfielders with 3,473,227 votes, followed by the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton (2,400,408). Granderson has more than 1.2 million more votes than fourth-place Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox for one of the three starting spots. Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner are eighth and ninth, respectively, among the outfielders.

The other position leader for the Yankees is catcher Russell Martin with 2,226,797, leading the Tigers’ Alex Avila (1,730,511).

Mark Teixeira was leading early in the voting at first base but has since been passed by the Red Sox’ Adrian Gonzalez, who continues to lead, 3,017,960 to 2,407,665. Jorge Posada (1,120,830) is running a distant third in the designated hitter voting behind leader David Ortiz (3,116,578) of the Red Sox and runner-up Michael Young (1,760,195) of the Rangers.

Fans may cast their votes for starters up to 25 times exclusively at and – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2011 All-Star Game Ballot Sponsored by Sprint, which offers English- and Spanish-language versions of the online ballot as well as audio CAPTCHA functionality for the visually impaired.

When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes Friday, June 24, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at and until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 30.

Tex falls to 2nd in Star voting; 5 Yanks still in lead

The Yankees’ lead at all four infield positions in the American League All-Star balloting took a hit in the latest tally released Tuesday in which Mark Teixeira was overtaken at first base by the Red Sox’ Adrian Gonzalez in voting for the All-Star Game July 12 at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Gonzalez, the AL leader in batting average, runs batted in, hits and total bases, jumped to 2,027,537 votes, more than 250,000 ahead of Texeira, who has 1,774,024. The Yankees still lead at the other three infield positions with Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter.

Cano, whose 2,649,737 votes are the second highest overall behind only Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (3,042,091), is running away with the balloting at second base. A-Rod’s lead at third base is more than 300,000 over the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre. Jeter has a 238,000-vote edge over the Indians’ Asdrubal Cabrera and may be jeopardized by going on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday night because of a strained right calf.

However, despite being out of the lineup much of the past week, Russell Martin remains the leading vote-getter among catchers with 1,712,156. The Tigers’ Alex Avila jumped over the Twins’ Joe Mauer, who is on the disabled list, into second place with 1,093,070 votes.

Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson is still a strong second among the outfielders with 2,406,946, a lead of more than 600,000 over third-place Josh Hamilton of the Rangers. Nick Swisher is running eighth and Brett Gardner ninth in the outfield balloting.

In the designated hitter voting, Jorge Posada is running a distant third to the Red Sox’ David Ortiz and the Rangers’ Michael Young. Now that Jorgie is heating up, it is up to Yankees fans to get on his bandwagon, not to mention getting Tex back ahead of Gonzalez.

Fans may cast votes for starters up to 25 times at and – online or via mobile device using the 2011 All-Star Game Ballot Sponsored by Sprint up to 11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 30.

Rosters will be announced July 3 during the 2011 All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS. Fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2011 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint.