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Hernandez named AL Pitcher of the Month

Hernandez named AL Pitcher of the Month

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Hernandez named AL Pitcher of the Month
SEATTLE -- With a perfect game and a near-perfect month, Mariners ace Felix Hernandez earned American League Pitcher of the Month honors Tuesday for his outstanding August.

Hernandez, 26, went 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA in five August starts, including the first perfect game in Mariners history on Aug. 15 against the Rays.

Hernandez won three 1-0 shutouts in the month, blanking the Yankees on two hits, the Twins on five hits and the Rays with his perfect game.

"That's a pretty good month right there," Hernandez said with a grin. "Three shutouts? I don't know. It was just one of those months."

There have been very few such stints in Major League history, however. Hernandez became just the third pitcher with three 1-0 shutouts in a calendar month, joining Carl Hubbell (July 1933) and Dick Rudolph (August 1916).

"I would hope that would merit Pitcher of the Month," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "I don't know how it ranks with the best months of all time, but it has to be up there with the numbers he put up and what he accomplished."

Hernandez also went 7 2/3 innings in a 5-1 victory over the Indians and received a no-decision against the Angels in Anaheim when he gave up four earned runs and five hits in seven innings.

Hernandez's award makes back-to-back AL Pitchers of the Month for Seattle, with Jason Vargas earning July honors after going 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA in six starts.

"It's a great accomplishment, and to have two guys in back-to-back months is great for those two guys and our organization and for Mariners fans," Wedge said.

"We're just trying to win games," said Hernandez. "That's all we're trying to do. But two straight, that's awesome."

Hernandez was also part of the only previous back-to-back Pitcher of the Month Awards in club history when he and Jarrod Washburn earned the honors in June and July of 2009. Since the start of the 2009 season, Mariners pitchers have won six of the 23 Pitcher of the Month Awards.

It was the third selection for Hernandez, who previously received the honor in June and September of 2009.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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