Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas is an All-Star for the second time in his career.
In a fan vote for the final spot on the American League All-Star team, Moustakas drew 15.6 million votes, beating Boston’s Xander Bogaerts, New York’s Didi Gregorius, Texas’ Elvis Andrus and Tampa Bay’s Logan Morrison.
Moustakas also won the Final Vote competition in 2015, joining Shane Victorino as the only players to do that twice.
Los Angeles’ Justin Turner, who the Dodgers urged fans to vote for along with Moustakas, won the NL Final Vote. Turner drew a record 20.8 million votes, topping Freddie Freeman’s 19.7 million in 2013.
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The 2017 All-Star Game is Tuesday at Marlins Park in Miami.
One the eve before the results were announced — his #VoteMoose hashtag was trending nationally on Twitter in the hours before voting was completed — Moustakas was taking the intrigue in stride.
“I’m just trying to be along for the ride,” he said, smiling. “The fans are taking me for a pretty good ride right now. So hopefully, it continues, and yeah, I would love to go to Miami and stick around for a couple days instead of just one.”
Moustakas was headed to Florida next week no matter what. He will compete in the Home Run Derby on Monday night at Marlins Park, facing Minnesota’s Miguel Sano in the first round.
In Miami, Moustakas will be joined by two other Royals All-Stars: catcher Salvador Perez, who won the voting at his position and will start, and pitcher Jason Vargas. It’s the fifth straight year the Royals will send three or more players to the All-Star Game. They only produced one All-Star in 21 of the previous 23 seasons.
Moustakas entered Thursday batting .275 with a career-high 25 homers and 54 RBIs. On Wednesday, he homered for a sixth time in eight games while the Royals completed a three-game sweep over the Seattle Mariners.