Bourn demonstrating Final Vote worthiness
Braves outfielder falls homer shy of cycle after putting team first
ATLANTA -- Michael Bourn did not hit the home run that he needed to complete the cycle in Wednesday night's 5-1 loss to the Cubs.
But while notching his Major League-best 14th three-hit game, the Braves outfielder showed why so many of his teammates are hoping that he is eventually invited to compete in next week's All-Star Game.
Bourn could still land this All-Star selection if he receives strong support in the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Firestone. The speedy Braves outfielder ranked third among the National League candidates when the latest balloting update was released on Wednesday morning.
With Chipper Jones removed from the ballot after he replaced the injured Matt Kemp on the National League roster, Bourn should draw much greater support from Braves fans. But he will have to make up some ground to catch St. Louis' David Freese and Washington's Bryce Harper before the balloting ends on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.
Final Vote candidates
|P||Jonathan Broxton, KC|
|P||Yu Darvish, TEX|
|P||Ernesto Frieri, LAA|
|P||Jason Hammel, BAL|
|P||Jake Peavy, CWS|
|OF||Michael Bourn, ATL|
|3B||David Freese, STL|
|OF||Bryce Harper, WAS|
|2B||Aaron Hill, ARI|
Bourn singled during Wednesday's first inning and then tripled off Cubs starter Paul Maholm before scoring in the third inning. His fifth-inning double put him in position to become the first Braves player since 2008 to hit for the cycle.
But with two outs in the seventh inning, Bourn was not swinging for the fences. Instead, in what proved to be his final plate appearance, he proved unsuccessful while attempting to bunt for a base hit.
"I was aware of [the cycle], but at the same time we were down three runs," Bourn said. "What would that look like if I go up there trying to hit a home run? Now if we're up four runs, I ain't got no problem with it. But we're down three. I'm not worried about hitting for the cycle right there. That ain't the place at that time.
"I was trying to get something started. I had it open where I wanted. I just bunted it right where I didn't need to bunt it. I saw the first baseman and second baseman playing me back a little bit. I felt like I made the right play. I just didn't get the bunt where I was supposed to get it."
Bourn has batted .310 with a career-high seven home runs, a .359 on-base percentage and a .456 slugging percentage.
To receive the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote, simply text message N1 (Bourn). Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010. Standard rates may apply.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.