Ryan Braun in line for starting All-Star spot

Either every citizen of Wisconsin has decided to vote for Ryan Braun up to the limit of 25 times, or baseball fans in general have forgiven him for his brush with performance-enhancing drugs.

The Milwaukee Brewers outfielder, whose positive drug test from last year was overturned on appeal, surged past the San Francisco Giants' Melky Cabrera for the last starting outfield spot in the final voting update for the NL All-Star team, which was released today.

Braun, who has garnered 3,168,617 votes to Cabrera's 3,045,884, had fallen to fourth place in the previous update. Matt Kemp and Carlos Beltran are far ahead in the balloting for the other two outfield spots.

The teams that will represent both leagues in the July 10 event in Kansas City will be announced Sunday.

Braun, the defending NL MVP, is having another huge season, tying for the league lead with 20 home runs, ranking in the top five with 52 RBI and batting .314 with a .996 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. But he was jeered and taunted on the road early in the season after winning his appeal on what many perceived to be a technicality related to the chain of custody.

At this time, though, he's in line to make his fifth consecutive starting appearance in the ASG.

Kemp, who has been sidelined since May 31 with a strained hamstring, yielded his overall voting lead in the NL to Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who has the majors' best on-base percentage at .481.

Votto has garnered 4,475,180 votes to Kemp's 4,118,524.

Other than the third outfielder, the closest race in the NL is for the starting catcher spot, where the Giants' Buster Posey is ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina – an All-Star each of the last three seasons – by a tally of 3,335,982-3,119-530.

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