NEW YORK -- Nelson Cruz has taken a sizable lead in the American League All-Star voting for designated hitters, now outpacing the Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz, 2,457,349 to 1,652,470.
According to Major League Baseball, which announced the most recent AL tallies Sunday night, the only AL players with more votes than Cruz are Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista (3,665,208), Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout (3,286,511) and Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (2,645,000).
Cruz, in his first year with the Orioles, is batting .293 with 23 homers and 60 RBIs. He is a two-time All-Star.
Cruz is one of two Orioles leading their respective positions in voting, though the other one is a bit surprising. Matt Wieters, who has not played since May 10 and is out for the season after having elbow surgery this month, is leading all AL catchers with 1,852,770 votes. The Oakland Athletics' Derek Norris has moved into second place with 1,486,850.
If Wieters’ lead holds, it will be the first time since 1997 and 1998 that multiple Orioles have won the fan vote in consecutive seasons. Last year, shortstop J.J. Hardy, outfielder Adam Jones and first baseman Chris Davis were selected.
In 1997, Roberto Alomar, Brady Anderson and Cal Ripken Jr. were named starters by the fans, and then Alomar and Ripken received the distinction again in 1998.
No other Orioles player is in the Top 2 at his respective position this year in fan balloting.
Davis, Hardy and third baseman Manny Machado are all third, while Jones and Nick Markakis are fifth and eighth, respectively, for outfielders (the top three outfielders selected will start).
The All-Star teams will be unveiled July 5 and July 6, and the game will be held July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis.