Starting All-Star spots in reach for Papi, Pedroia

Pierzynski ranks fifth among AL catchers; online voting runs through July 3

Starting All-Star spots in reach for Papi, Pedroia

David Ortiz has been a fixture at the All-Star Game throughout the last decade, representing the Red Sox with his big smile and powerful swing.

This season, Big Papi will face strong competition to earn a starting spot.

When the second round of American League balloting was released on Monday, Ortiz had been surpassed by Orioles slugger Nelson Cruz among designated hitters.

Cruz had 888,855 votes, while Ortiz was second with 766,631.

Ortiz is vying to become an All-Star for the 10th time -- all with the Red Sox. Even at the age of 38, he remains one of the elite sluggers in the game.

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.

Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.

Fans this year once again can participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2014 Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 14.

The 2014 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.

And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Ortiz would love to play an All-Star Game at Target Field, where he is a career .509 hitter (29-for-57) with nine homers, 22 RBIs and a 1.615 on-base plus slugging percentage.

With 540,515 votes, Dustin Pedroia is another strong candidate to represent the Red Sox at the Midsummer Classic, as he currently ranks third at second base. Robinson Cano (726,158) and Ian Kinsler (649,926) are ahead of Pedroia.

For many years, Pedroia and Ortiz have been the two leaders of Boston's offense.

"Whether it's going bad or going good, they're the leaders of our everyday lineup," said John Farrell, who will manage the AL All-Stars. "It's not going to be resting upon their shoulders solely, but they're the main cogs in it."

A.J. Pierzynski, in his first year with the Red Sox, ranks fifth at catcher with 300,347 votes.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.