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Pujols, Molina lead field in homestretch

Pujols, Molina lead field

ST. LOUIS -- There's less than a week left before the teams are announced for the 2009 All-Star Game on July 14 at Busch Stadium, and two Cardinals are still holding on to their leads in fan balloting.

Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols are the National League leaders at catcher and first base, respectively, just as they have been since the first round of voting results was announced -- and with 3,602,765 votes, Pujols leads the collective NL balloting. Additionally, Skip Schumaker remained in fourth place in the voting at second base, though he has an enormous deficit to leader Chase Utley.

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Molina has never been an All-Star, but his first selection to the team is very close to being a reality. Other Cardinals in the mix are Rick Ankiel, who is eighth among outfielders, and Ryan Ludwick, who is 11th.

In-stadium voting has ended, but fans can still vote online for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT. 

Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Pepsi on TBS on July 5. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote at MLB.com.

And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint MVP Vote at MLB.com.

The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.

Pujols is a seven-time All-Star and has been in the starting lineup five times -- twice as designated hitter. Ludwick was a first-time All-Star in 2008. No other Cardinal on the ballot has played in an All-Star Game.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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