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Bautista, Young, Floyd earn July honors

Bautista, Young, Floyd earn July honors

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It may be the year of the pitcher, but Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista and Twins outfielder Delmon Young had something to say about that, at least in July.

For their offensive exploits, Young and Bautista were named the American League's co-Players of the Month for July, joining fellow honoree Gavin Floyd, whose dominant month on the mound earned him the league's Pitcher of the Month award.

Bautista, who is enjoying a career year, continued slugging away at a prolific pace. He knocked 11 homers to lead the Majors in July, the second time this year he's led both leagues in homers.

The 29-year-old appeared in his first All-Star Game and continued his output after the break. In July he led the AL with a .765 slugging percentage and a .347 batting average, and he tallied 10 multi-hit games.

"He's been on some kind of tear," his manager, Cito Gaston, said. "Great for him. He's a great teammate around here with these guys and just a great guy to manage. You can't say anything bad about Bautista. Everything I see and everything that he does around here is all good."

His co-honoree, Young, may not be putting up quite the same home run totals, but he's making a big mark on the league in other ways.

Young has provided a big offensive boost for his team when they needed it the most, without Justin Morneau in the lineup and without Joe Mauer at his best. Young tallied a 12-game hitting streak and batted .434 through the month of July.

You can believe that manager Ron Gardenhire has noticed the impact Young's bat has had on the Twins as they battle for first place in the tight AL Central.

"Delmon's swinging really, really good. We've had some guys go up and down a little bit," Gardenhire said. "Delmon's just absolutely been killing it."

And now the league has noticed his contributions as well.

Speaking of contributions, one of Young and his teammates' biggest opponents in the division, the White Sox, has been getting major ones from their July award winner, Floyd.

Floyd absolutely shut down opposing hitters in July, posting a Major League-leading 0.80 ERA over five starts during the month. The right-hander went 3-1 over the month while holding batters to a.228 average.

And perhaps the most impressive stat of all is that Floyd hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in 11 consecutive outings, lowering his ERA to 1.06.

"I don't remember any [stretch] better," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He's throwing the ball well."

In his most recent start, against the Athletics, which actually took place on Aug. 1, Floyd flirted with perfection, pitching into the sixth without allowing any baserunners. He may not have gotten the perfecto, but his teammates and coaches definitely took notice of the effort he'd been turning in for some time.

"[It's] one of the most underrated, untalked-about two months for any starting pitcher I've ever seen," said reliever Matt Thornton. "Absolutely lights-out. Every game he has started, we are either winning or in it all the way to the end. He's been amazing."

Bailey Stephens is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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