Alex Rodriguez's ascension to fan favorite seems all but complete.
Major League Baseball released its first AL All-Star voting update Tuesday, and A-Rod is the Yankees' second-highest vote-getter behind Jacoby Ellsbury.
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Ellsbury, who is seventh among outfielders, has 546,188 votes. A-Rod is third among designated hitters with 351,567. He has about 10,000 more votes than Boston's David Ortiz but is far, far behind the leader, Seattle's Nelson Cruz, who has 1,225,255.
Meanwhile, the first-place Royals are in first place in the fans' hearts, too. Four Royals are in first-place spots with more than a million votes each: catcher Salvador Perez, outfielder Lorenzo Cain, third baseman Mike Moustakas and shortstop Alcides Escobar.
National League results will be announced Wednesday and the next updates will be on Monday and Tuesday. The All-Star Game will be on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Days after the Orioles' Brian Matusz and the Brewers' Will Smith were suspended eight games for using a foreign substance while pitching, Joe Girardi said MLB should consider allowing a substance that helps pitchers grip the ball. "Hitters know that pitchers are all using something," he said. "There should be a [uniform] substance behind the mound that every pitcher is allowed to use." . . . Masahiro Tanaka will make his second rehab start Wednesday. If all goes well, he soon may be ready to rejoin the team, Girardi said, adding: "You want to hear that his stuff is sharp, that he was able to locate his pitches."
By the numbers
Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller finished up Tuesday night's 5-1 victory over the Royals with a scoreless inning each.
In Betances' last eight appearances, covering 92/3 innings, he has faced 30 batters and allowed no runs, no hits and two walks, striking out 12. Overall, he has allowed zero earned runs and eight hits in 25 innings, striking out 38.
Miller has allowed two earned runs and five hits in 201/3 innings with 34 strikeouts this season.
Their totals: 451/3 innings, two earned runs, 13 hits, 72 strikeouts.