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Soriano needs push for All-Star start

Soriano needs push for All-Star start

CHICAGO -- Alfonso Soriano needs a little help to get to his eighth All-Star Game.

Soriano was fourth among National League outfielders with 1,916,598 votes in this week's ballot update for the All-Star Game, released Monday. Philadelphia's Raul Ibanez leads all NL outfielders for the third straight week, topping Milwaukee's Ryan Braun and New York's Carlos Beltran in the voting to elect starters for the Midsummer Classic, to be played July 14 in St. Louis.

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In 2008, the Cubs sent a NL-record eight players to the All-Star Game as well as manager Lou Piniella.

Soriano has done well in All-Star Games past, posting a .357 average, including three home runs. This season, he belted his 54th career leadoff homer on June 2 in Atlanta to move past Craig Biggio into sole possession of second all-time in leadoff home runs. Rickey Henderson is first with 81. The Cubs left fielder got off to a hot start with a .284 April and seven home runs.

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.

Carrie Muskat 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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