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Angel Stadium joins Richards' Final Vote rally

Angel Stadium joins Richards' Final Vote rally

ANAHEIM -- Even the mound he stands on is campaigning for Garrett Richards.

On Monday, one night after the Angels right-handed pitcher was announced as a Final Vote candidate to make the American League All-Star team, the back of the mound at Angel Stadium read #VoteGRich. The hashtag was also printed behind home plate.

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Richards did not make the initial American League squad and is up against Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel, Cleveland righty Corey Kluber, Detroit righty Rick Porcello and Chicago lefty Chris Sale.

In his first full season as a starter, Richards has been dominant, holding batters to a league-low .196 batting average while posting a 2.71 ERA and 119 strikeouts.

"Garrett is an All-Star in our mind, but sometimes you just don't get that nod because of circumstances you can't control," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Hopefully, we'll get Garrett in there."

Richards is the sixth Angels player to be a candidate for the Final Vote and the first since Ernesto Frieri in 2012. Darin Erstad (2002), Bengie Molina (2003), Kelvim Escobar (2007) and Chone Figgins (2009) were also nominees, but no Angels player has won the Final Vote.

While Richards is part of the Final Vote, it is not his only ticket to the Midsummer Classic. If a pitcher drops out due to injury or starts on the Sunday before the game (like Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to do), Richards is eligible to fill in for them.

Many of Richards' teammates have been tweeting support, urging their followers to vote for Richards. Mike Trout has retweeted more than 20 tweets in the last day that contained #VoteGRich. C.J. Wilson has posted on Instagram, in addition to Twitter, to try to get Richards to Minnesota.

The Angels have teamed up with the Braves in an attempt to get both Richards and Atlanta outfielder Justin Upton to the All-Star Game. Last season, Atlanta partnered with Toronto and both the Braves' Freddie Freeman and the Blue Jays' Steve Delabar won the fan vote.

Immediately following the announcement of the American League 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 on Thursday 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 on Thursday, 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
Keuchel: #VoteKeuchel (A1)
Kluber: #VoteKluber (A2)
Porcello: #PickRick (A3)
Richards: #VoteGRich (A4)
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.

Matthew DeFranks 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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