Thome Loses Out On Final All-Star Spot - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Thome Loses Out On Final All-Star Spot

NEW YORK (AP) - Andruw Jones and Johnny Damon won an Internet runoff for the final two spots in next week's All-Star game.

About 769,000 voters cast 3.6 million ballots at www.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 Pittsburgh's 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 RBIs.

"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 (pictured, above) by just more than 6,000 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'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.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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