Extra Bases

Ortiz, Lester win AL awards for May

David Ortiz and Jon Lester were named the American League Player and Pitcher of the month, respectively, today.

The release from MLB:

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz and starting pitcher Jon Lester have been voted the American League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for May. It marks the first time that the two A.L. monthly awards were captured by teammates in the same month since June 2006, when Minnesota’s Joe Mauer and Johan Santana won the honors.

In 23 games in May, Ortiz hit .363 (29-80) with four doubles, 10 home runs, 16 runs scored and 27 RBI. The 34-year-old also posted a Major League-best .788 slugging percentage and a .424 on-base percentage. Last month marked the second time in his
career that he has tallied at least 10 homers, 25 RBI, and a .350 batting average in a calendar month, previously accomplished in June of 2004.

The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic native reached base safely in 21 of his 23 games in May, including nine multi-hit performances and eight multi-RBI outings. In Boston’s final game of May, the five-time A.L. All-Star hit his 10th home run, reaching double-figures in a month for the first time since August 2006. This marks David’s fourth career Player of the Month Award (last accomplished: September 2007).

Lester, who posted a perfect 5-0 record in six outings during May, allowed just 24 hits through 44.0 innings of work while leading the Majors with 45 strikeouts. The 26-year-old also posted a 1.84 ERA, the lowest of any A.L. pitcher with more than 27 innings pitched. Lester earned a 6-2 win for the Red Sox in his 100th career start on May 20th against Minnesota at Fenway Park, allowing only one earned run on six hits in the complete-game effort. It marked Jon’s fifth career complete game and the first time a Sox pitcher has earned a complete-game win with no walks and at least nine strikeouts since Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat on August 12, 2004.


This marks Jon’s third Pitcher of the Month honor (last accomplished: September 2008).

The runner up for the A.L. Player of the Month was Texas Rangers designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero, who batted .330 with 10 home runs and a Major League-leading 31 RBI. Finishing second to Lester in the A.L. Pitcher of the Month balloting was Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Shaun Marcum, who posted a 5-0 record with a 1.85 ERA.

Ortiz and Lester will each receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate their Player and Pitcher of the Month performances.

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