Royals' Moustakas, Cardinals' Martinez win final All-Star Game fan vote
Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez are going to the All-Star Game as winners of the final fan vote.
Martinez surged ahead of Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto in voting that ended Friday afternoon to become the sixth Cardinals player to make the NL roster for Tuesday's Mid-Summer Classic in Cincinnati.
A first-time All-Star, Martinez might've gotten a voting boost from his outing Thursday night, pitching 7 1/3 scoreless innings against the NL Central-rival Pirates. The 23-year-old Martinez is 10-3 with 2.52 ERA this season.
"When I saw names like Cueto and Kershaw and Tulowitzki, I really didn't feel like I had a very good chance to win," Martinez said ahead of the Cardinals' game at Pittsburgh. "That's why I'm so thankful to all the fans and all their help."
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and Mets closer Jeurys Familia were also in contention.
Moustakas, 26, becomes the seventh Royals player set to participate in the All-Star Game. Also a first time All-Star, Moustakas was hitting .301 with seven homers and 31 RBIs for the AL Central leaders.
He beat out Minnesota's Brian Dozier, Tigers outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts for the last American League spot. Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner was in the final five, but he replaced Moustakas' injured teammate Alex Gordon on the roster Wednesday.
"The best fans in baseball. They proved that in the voting and again with the second voting. They've been with me the whole way," Moustakas said in Kansas City. "It's an exciting time to be a Royal."
Moustakas had been away from the team for the previous four games to be with his ailing mother, missing out on much of the campaigning for the final spot.
"When I'm hanging out with my mom, all that other stuff doesn't really matter," he said. "I get to hang out with her, talk to her and see how she's doing. It really puts everything else in perspective."
Dozier was grateful for all the support from the Twins and their fans. Minnesota parked a bulldozer outside Target Field and the second baseman got support from fellow athletes such as Brett Favre, the Wild's Zach Parise and Ryan Carter and the Vikings' Chad Greenway.
"I wouldn't say it's disappointing," Dozier said before playing the Tigers in Minneapolis. "It's kind of crazy in the fact of how that's the voting process, but we had a lot of fun with it."