NEW YORK — Chris Davis’ first-half power surge made him one popular All-Star.
Baltimore’s first baseman with the cool nickname “Crush” slugged his way past Detroit’s Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera in the final week to claim the most fan votes in All-Star game balloting. Washington outfielder Bryce Harper used a final push to win a spot in the National League’s starting lineup.
Right-hander Max Scherzer was one of a major league-best six Tigers chosen for the All-Star game July 16 at Citi Field in New York. St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina led the NL fan vote announced Saturday night. He is one of the Cardinals’ five All-Stars, tops in the NL.
“I think any time you are getting that recognition, not only from your fan base but from everybody across the nation, I think it feels good to know that people are watching,” said Davis, one of 30 first-time All-Stars.
Mets young ace Matt Harvey and third baseman David Wright will represent the host team in the 84th All-Star game. Harvey, a first timer, received the most votes among NL pitchers in the player balloting, outpacing the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw.
Baseball’s latest phenom, Cuban defector Yasiel Puig, didn’t make the NL team — at least not yet. The Dodgers outfielder with just one breathless month in the big leagues is among five candidates for the final NL spot, with fans able to vote online through Thursday.
Davis finished with 8,272,243 fan votes to edge Cabrera, who had 8,013,874. Davis has 85 RBIs, matching his career high and only three fewer than Cabrera. But he has hit 33 homers, seventh best before the break in big league history — he has a week to catch Barry Bond’s 39.
The 27-year-old Davis is one of three Orioles selected by the fans, the first time that has happened since Cal Ripken Jr. was one of the picks in 1997.
Shortstop J.J. Hardy and center fielder Adam Jones will take the field with Davis. Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado was selected as a reserve.
In the only close race for a starting role, the 20-year-old Harper trailed Justin Upton by several thousand votes, but he homered in his return from the disabled list this week and moved into the lead. Now Harper will become the youngest NL starter ever.