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Hanley Ramirez takes All-Star lead at shortstop

A day after breaking out of the second-longest home run drought of his career, Hanley Ramirez surged back into the top spot to start at shortstop in next month's All-Star Game in St. Louis.

Ramirez leaped in front of the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins with 1,647,482 votes this week. Rollins, who led for two weeks, now trails with 1,494,466 votes.Hanley swings at a pitch Sunday versus the Yankees.

The numbers are close even though Ramirez (.328, nine HRs, 36 RBI, nine steals) has far out-performed the former league MVP and two-time Gold Glove winner (.217, six, 27, 10) this season.

Ramirez went 100 at-bats without hitting a home run before hitting the game-tying blast Sunday in a 6-5 win over the Yankees. His 87 home runs and 410 runs scored are the most by any shortstop in baseball since 2006.

Dan Uggla is the only other Marlin receiving considerable votes. The two-time All-Star second baseman has 475,372 votes but is a distant fifth to Chase Utley (2,922,796).

All-Star voting concludes at 11:59 p.m. on July 2.

> Don't expect a decision on Joe Girardi's protest during Sunday's game until Tuesday at the earliest. And don't expect it to get granted either. Baseball hasn't approved a protest since 1986 for the Pirates and Cardinals.  

Perhaps the most famous case is the George Brett pine tar bat homer on from July 24, 1983. In that case, the umpires were following the existing rules to the letter when Brett's homer was negated and he was called out. However, AL President Lee MacPhail ruled that the penalty was not within the "spirit of the rules" and reversed the call. Brett was awarded the home run and the game was resumed from that point.

Giradi is basically hoping to resume the game in the top of the eighth inning with nobody out and the Yankees down 6-3 because of one pitch and a mixup in the Marlins outfield. That didn't exactly change the score or the outcome of the game.

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