Dodgers' Hill named top NL pitcher for July

Dodgers' Hill named top NL pitcher for July

A Dodgers rotation regarded as the game's best received further distinction on Wednesday, as left-handed starter Rich Hill was named the National League Pitcher of the Month for July.

After battling a blister on his pitching hand earlier this year, Hill has regained front-line form, particularly last month, during which he went 4-0 with a 1.45 ERA, a .171 batting average against, a .288 slugging percentage against, 40 strikeouts and six walks. And he did so while weathering a cold in consecutive weeks at the end of the month.

The 37-year-old Hill is the second Dodgers pitcher to receive the monthly honor, joining teammate Alex Wood, the winner in May. And this is the second time Hill has been named Pitcher of the Month -- he was the American League's winner with Oakland in May 2016.

Hill was placed on the disabled list twice in April with a lingering blister, and he missed a month during his second stint. The lefty hasn't been shelved since, and he's manipulated lineups with his effective fastball-curveball combination that has yielded an 83.0 mph exit velocity against, per Statcast™ -- the lowest in MLB among starters (minimum 150 batted-ball events).

Monthly award winners

Hill is one of five Dodgers starters who rank in the top 10 in that category, joining Brandon McCarthy (third, 83.9 mph), Wood (fifth, 84.2 mph), Clayton Kershaw (seventh, 84.4 mph) and Kenta Maeda (10th, 84.6 mph).

An already loaded Los Angeles rotation was bolstered further with the acquisition of Yu Darvish from Texas on Monday at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Hill, who was acquired at last year's Deadline, figures to be the club's No. 4 starter in the postseason, assuming Kershaw returns from a lower back strain within his expected four- to six-week timetable.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.