Baseball – Turner, Moustakas win final All-Star Game spots

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers

(Reuters) – Third basemen Mike Moustakas of the Kansas City Royals and Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers claimed the last two spots in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game through fan voting completed on Thursday.

Turner, who will be making his first All-Star appearance, tallied an all-time record 20.8 million votes in winning the online vote for the National League berth in Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic in Miami.

“It truly has been a wild ride,” said Turner, a seventh-round draft pick who had been in three previous MLB organizations before signing a minor league deal to join his hometown Dodgers in 2014.

“I wanted to be back in LA. I grew up here, grew up a Dodger fan … leading to today getting voted as an All-Star. It’s hard to believe. I’m just so honored and happy to be out there and can’t thank the fans enough,” he told MLB TV.

Moustakas garnered 15.6 million votes in becoming the second player ever to win the Final Vote twice, joining Shane Victorino. The lefty-swinging Moustakas also won the American League Final Vote in 2015 for his first All-Star appearance.

“It means a lot. This is huge,” said Moustakas. “It’s definitely an honor to be an All-Star and join those other guys in Miami.”

The MLB All-Star Game Final Vote was conducted in online voting on MLB.com, individual club websites and Twitter.

High percentage hitter Turner outdistanced Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon, Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds and Marlins first baseman Justin Bour for the All-Star honor.

Moustakas, who will compete in Monday’s Home Run Derby, used a slugging spree to press his case over Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus and Rays first baseman Logan Morrison.

The hard-hitting Royal has homered in six of his past eight games, increasing his career-best season output to 25 and helping slow-starting Kansas City move within a half-game of Cleveland in the AL Central standings.

Entering the NL West-leading Dodgers’ game on Thursday against Arizona, Turner led the major leagues with a .384 batting average and a .473 on-base percentage in 61 games.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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