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Early returns are in

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  June 1, 2006 04:39 PM

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Yankees and Red Sox stars are shining at the ballot box.

Even though the rivals don't match up on the field again until next week, the Red Sox and Yankees continue to battle each other to determine who will represent the American League at the 77th Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Pittsburgh on July 11.

The AL tabulation was dominated by four players from the Yankees (Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, and Johnny Damon) and three from the Red Sox (David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, and Manny Ramirez) in the first release of voting published by MLB.com yesterday.

In the first baseman voting, Red Sox DH David Ortiz -- who has to compete with first basemen, not DH's, because the game being held in a National League park -- led with 451,431 votes. Ortiz was followed by Yankees first baseman/DH Jason Giambi, with 321,653 votes.

Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (289,394 votes) led hot-hitting Mark Loretta of the Red Sox by less than 32,000 votes.

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (524,153 votes) led Sox third baseman Mike Lowell by 300,000 votes.

In the catching voting, Red Sox captain Jason Varitek led the balloting with 335,417 votes while Ivan Rodriguez of the Tigers was in second place with 277,034 votes, trailing Varitek by 58,000. Yankees catcher Jorge Posada was 36,000 votes behind I-Rod, with 241,736 votes.

In the outfield balloting, former teammates Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon were 123,000 votes apart. Ramirez (516,658 votes) had a slight lead over Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels (514,013 votes) while Damon checked in with 393,643 votes.

American League All-Star balloting through May 31:

First base
1. David Ortiz, Red Sox 451,431
2. Jason Giambi, Yankees 321,653
3. Paul Konerko, White Sox 206,472
4. Travis Hafner, Indians 154,878
5. Chris Shelton, Tigers 153,197

Second base
1. Robinson Cano, Yankees 289,394
2. Mark Loretta, Red Sox 257,125
3. Tadahito Iguchi, White Sox 246,838
4. Brian Roberts, Orioles 130,702
5. Placido Polanco, Tigers 129,596

Third base
1. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 524,153
2. Mike Lowell, Red Sox 224,611
3. Joe Crede, White Sox 171,954
4. Eric Chavez, Athletics 167,020
5. Troy Glaus, Blue Jays 145,243

Shortstop
1. Derek Jeter, Yankees 537,218
2. Miguel Tejada, Orioles 370,078
3. Michael Young, Rangers 142,254
4. Alex Gonzalez, Red Sox 130,616
5. Juan Uribe, White Sox 121,304

Catcher
1. Jason Varitek, Red Sox 335,417
2. Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers 277,034
3. Jorge Posada, Yankees 241,736
4. Victor Martinez, Indians 196,987
5. A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox 180,562

Outfield
1. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox 516,658
2. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels 514,013
3. Johnny Damon, Yankees 393,643
4. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 279,843
5. Gary Sheffield, Yankees 275,688
6. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays 242,211
7. Hideki Matsui, Yankees 231,777
8. Scott Podsednik, White Sox 195,402
9. Coco Crisp, Red Sox 189,680
10. Jermaine Dye, White Sox 183,160
11. Trot Nixon, Red Sox 177,745
12. Torii Hunter, Twins 169,937
13. Grady Sizemore, Indians 137,716
14. Jonny Gomes, Devil Rays 132,264
15. Kevin Mench, Rangers 131,779

All-Star game voting online, at MLB.com and team web sites, will end on Thursday, June 29 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). The game is scheduled to be played on Tuesday, July 11 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

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