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Hill, Scutaro in need of All-Star votes

Hill, Scutaro in need of All-Star votes

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TORONTO -- It was another example of how valuable second baseman Aaron Hill has been to the Blue Jays this season. In the fifth inning on Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park, Washington second baseman Alberto Gonzalez chopped a pitch through the infield with the bases loaded.

Blue Jays shortstop Marco Scutaro gloved the grounder and flipped it to Hill, who stepped on second and fired the ball to first base. On the play, Hill's legs were taken out by a hard-sliding Austin Kearns and -- after falling forcefully to the dirt -- Toronto's second baseman watched from his belly as the ball snapped into first baseman Lyle Overbay's glove for the inning's final out.

"This year, he's been everything," said Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, referring to Hill, "as far as swinging the bat and as far as playing defense and just the way he goes out and plays. I always talk about resting him and Scutaro and, man, they don't want to hear it. They want to play."

In the latest round of American League All-Star balloting results, Hill and Scutaro remain securely in fourth place at their respective positions. In order to take part in the Midsummer Classic -- still a possibility for both infielders -- their peers will likely have to vote them onto the AL's elite roster.

Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until July 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET. At Rogers Centre in Toronto, Blue Jays fans can continue to cast ballots through Tuesday.

Starting rosters will be announced during the 2009 All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Chevrolet 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.

Gaston wasn't kidding, either. A day off has not been something Hill or Scutaro have wanted.

Through 70 games, Hill was batting .302 with 15 home runs, 41 runs scored and 48 RBIs, leading the Majors with 93 hits. Those numbers stack up against any other second baseman, and yet Hill ranked fourth in voting behind Texas' Ian Kinsler, Boston's Dustin Pedroia and New York's Robinson Cano.

Scutaro was hitting .300 with five home runs, 29 RBIs and a .400 on-base percentage through 71 games. His 134 times on base up to that point led baseball, and he also had compiled 48 walks against 35 strikeouts with 53 runs scored and 20 doubles. Impressive figures, but Scutaro trailed New York's Derek Jeter, Tampa Bay's Jason Bartlett and Texas' Elvis Andrus in balloting.

Scott Rolen fell out of the top-five at third base. Through 60 games, Rolen was batting .329 with four home runs, 20 doubles, 24 RBIs and a .394 on-base percentage.

Jordan Bastian 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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{"content":["all-star_game" ] }
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