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Porcello needs late push in AL Final Vote

Right-hander sits third in group of talented candidates; vote until 4 p.m. ET today

Porcello needs late push in AL Final Vote play video for Porcello needs late push in AL Final Vote

DETROIT -- Rick Porcello is used to being the overlooked guy in the Tigers' star-studded rotation. To call the past two days in the All-Star Final Vote an adjustment for him would be an understatement.

Porcello's commute to Comerica Park includes an electronic billboard on the highway encouraging fans to vote for him -- preferably once they're off the highway, of course. His teammates are wearing T-shirts around the clubhouse saying "Porcello Has My Vote" while he wears his usual workout shirts. The giant scoreboard at Comerica Park has been showing Porcello's face at nearly every opportunity.

In a city where Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer are household names, and even Anibal Sanchez is becoming familiar, it's Porcello's turn in the spotlight.

"It's definitely different," Porcello said Wednesday morning. "I'm not used to that kind of attention. I'm definitely flattered by it, for sure. It's pretty cool to see people that are supporting you. On a completely personal level, that's definitely very nice. I'm very thankful.

"It's kind of one of those things where you always are just so focused on playing. We know that the fans here are tremendous and they support everybody on this team and whatnot, but when you're in the middle of the season and you're concentrating on playing and stuff, you kind of maybe don't pay attention to it as much. And then something like this happens, and you're just completely taken aback by it and how much interest everybody has and how much everybody cares about it. It's definitely really cool."

Porcello did his part for the vote push with his wallet. For the final hours of the Final Vote today, Porcello is donating 21 cents for every Twitter vote he receives, up to $21,000, to the Boys and Girls Club of America. Any tweet that includes the #PickRick hashtag from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET today will count toward the vote and the donation.

So far, the support has Porcello in the middle of the pack in a stacked field of American League starting pitchers. He remains third out of five pitchers as of the latest update Wednesday morning, trailing White Sox ace Chris Sale and Angels youngster Garrett Richards.

"I'm proud to be a part of it regardless," said Porcello, who will have a chance to move into a tie for the AL wins lead when he starts Saturday night in Kansas City. "I think any one of the five guys that are in this Final Vote have a fantastic start to the season, have really good numbers. I don't think there's any one guy that you could say doesn't deserve to go.

"It's definitely nice to be a part of that group. It's been a fun couple days, and regardless of whether I make it or not, it's a couple of days that I'm not going to forget. It's a unique thing. I've never really been a part of something like this."

Immediately following the announcement of the AL and National League All-Star rosters on Sunday, fans began voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until the winners are announced after the voting concludes today at 4 p.m. ET.

Fans can also cast votes on the mobile web at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the Final Vote ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, fans can text their choice to 89269. For example: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Standard message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available, and fans should text their choices to 101010.

For the third consecutive year, the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote will include social balloting participation, as Twitter support from the 10 candidates' fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their final vote totals. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET today, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners. Fans will be able to follow @MLB for the latest standings updates over the course of the entire four-day voting period.

The hashtags and text designations are as follows:
AL nominees
Dallas Keuchel: #VoteKeuchel (A1)
Corey Kluber: #VoteKluber (A2)
Rick Porcello: #PickRick (A3)
Garrett Richards: #VoteGRich (A4)
Chris Sale: #TargetSale (A5)

NL nominees
Casey McGehee: #VoteHitsMcGehee (N1)
Justin Morneau: #VoteMorneau (N2)
Anthony Rendon: #VoteRendon (N3)
Anthony Rizzo: #VoteRizzo (N4)
Justin Upton: #VoteJUp (N5)

The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again allow fans to help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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