Jones edges out Giles for All-Star berth
NEW YORK — Andruw Jones and Johnny Damon won an Internet runoff for the final two spots in next week’s All-Star game.
More than 750,000 voters cast about 3.1 million ballots at mlb.com between Sunday night and Tuesday. AL manager Joe Torre and NL skipper Bob Brenly picked five players to compete for the final spot.
Jones, the Atlanta Braves’ center fielder, beat out Pirates outfielder Brian Giles by more than 70,000 votes. St. Louis’ Albert Pujols was third, followed by San Diego’s Ryan Klesko and Colorado’s Larry Walker.
Jones came into the day hitting .275 with 19 homers and 54 RBI.
“I experienced it one time before. It’ll be good to experience it again,” Jones said. “It’s nice because the fans voted me in.”
Damon, the center fielder for the Boston Red Sox, beat out Cleveland’s Jim Thome by just more than 26,000 votes. Oakland’s Eric Chavez was third, followed by Chicago’s Magglio Ordonez and Anaheim’s Darin Erstad.
The news was broken to the Boston fans with a message on the Fenway Park scoreboard after Damon walked in the fifth inning. After a cheer, Damon tipped his helmet to the crowd.
Entering the second game of a doubleheader against Toronto, Damon was hitting .304 with 60 runs scored and 18 steals.
Damon later left the game because of cramps in his left leg. The team said it was precautionary and likely caused by the heat that rose to 104 degrees on the field during yesterday’s day-night doubleheader.
Damon’s addition gives Boston six players on the All-Star roster, tying Torre’s Yankees and Brenly’s Diamondbacks for the most. The Red Sox have not had six All-Stars since 1978, when they had seven in a year that they tied New York for the AL East title before losing in a one-game playoff on Bucky Dent’s homer.
It’s the second time since 1949 that Boston has had six or more players on the All-Star roster.
Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez, who was selected by Torre, has declined the invitation.