Jason Vargas was a big factor in the Angels' improved play in May, and on Monday, the left-hander was named the American League Pitcher of the Month. It's the club's first monthly pitching honor since Jered Weaver won in April 2011.
In six May outings, Vargas went 5-0 with a 2.30 ERA, striking out 31 and walking 14 in 43 innings. That earned him his second Pitcher of the Month Award, as he also took one home last July, when he was with the Mariners. Among AL hurlers who logged at least 27 innings in May, Vargas finished first in wins and second in innings and ERA.
Vargas had one rough outing in the month, surrendering five runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Astros on May 9. The 30-year-old held the opposition to no more than two runs and five hits while lasting at least seven innings in each of his other starts.
He began the month by twirling his fourth career shutout, limiting the Orioles to three hits and two walks on May 3 in Anaheim. After the Astros game, Vargas reeled off four straight victories, beating the Royals twice, as well as the White Sox and Dodgers.
For the season, Vargas is 5-3 with a 3.34 ERA after coming to the Angels in a December trade with Seattle.
Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @HitTheCutoff. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.