Cruz thanks Mariners fans after locking down All-Star Game start

Nelson Cruz is pretty happy to have been voted in as the AL's DH in the upcoming All-Star Game. 

Joe Nicholson/Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Slugger Nelson Cruz held on to his lead over the Kansas City Royals’ Kendrys Morales in voting for the All-Star Game, it was announced by the league on Sunday.

Cruz, who’s had a great start to his Mariners career so far in 2015, will be in the AL’s starting lineup at the DH position in the game on Tuesday, July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. 

The race ended up being pretty close, as Cruz finished with 10,632,184 votes (compared to Morales’ 10,320,500). 

As Cruz told the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish on Sunday, he’s appreciative of all the fan support in getting him to the top spot at the DH position: "The Seattle people did the job. People from the Dominican, I always know they are behind me. I’m just blessed.”

He also sent out a Tweet along those same lines of appreciation:

Cruz also admitted to Divish that he enjoys taking part in All-Star festivities, especially considering the competition he has to go up against: "It’s always special when you get voted in by the fans. It means they definitely want to see you there. Last year was more of a surprise because I was fighting Big Papi (Boston’s David Ortiz). He’s the king of DH’s. But it doesn’t get old or boring. Anytime you are going to the All-Star game, you’ve done something good. I’m really happy and blessed.”

His participation in this year’s ASG was a certainty whether he would be voted in or selected as a reserve, but Cruz is obviously pretty excited about winning the vote. 

(h/t Seattle Times)