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Bautista to participate in Home Run Derby

Bautista to participate in Home Run Derby

Bautista to participate in Home Run Derby
TORONTO -- Blue Jays All-Star Jose Bautista has accepted the invitation from American League captain Robinson Cano, and will participate in his second consecutive Home Run Derby.

Cano, last year's winner, selected Bautista, along with the Angels' Mark Trumbo and the Tigers' Prince Fielder.

Bautista, the two-time defending Major League home run champion, hit just four homers in last year's Derby -- the first time he had participated in the event -- which sent him to the sidelines after the first round.

After a light showing in 2011, Bautista will look to bounce back on Monday, July 9 at Kauffman Stadium. The Derby starts at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Bautista is once again leading the Majors in home runs, upping his total to 27 after a solo blast in Monday's 11-3 loss to the Royals.

Recently, Bautista has been on a tear, setting a franchise record for home runs in a month with 14 in June, while smacking 24 in 57 games since hitting just three in April. Bautista led the Majors in home runs in June, as well as RBIs (30), walks (22) and slugging (.750), which helped him capture American League Player of the Month honors.

Not surprisingly, Bautista was also named the Blue Jays' Honda Player of the Month by the Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America for the second consecutive month.

Bautista was also voted the starting right fielder for the American League All-Star team, joining a stacked outfield group that consists of Texas' Josh Hamilton and the Yankees' Curtis Granderson.

"It's amazing that I see myself in that position and having so many people following me and showing me the love," Bautista said after hearing the news of his selection. "I appreciate it, and all of my thanks goes out to everybody who voted."

Upon the conclusion of Monday's contest, Bautista was hitting .243, with 64 RBIs, a .555 slugging percentage and a .916 OPS.

The National League Home Run Derby participants include captain Matt Kemp, Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Gonzalez.

Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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