06/02/2004 4:47 PM ET
Mora, Buehrle named American League Pepsi Player, Pitcher of the Month for May
Baltimore Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora and Chicago White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle have been named the American League's Pepsi Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for May.
Mora led the AL in batting average (.402), slugging percentage (.701) and on-base percentage (.480) last month, going 43-for-107 at the plate with 26 runs scored, eight doubles, eight home runs, 23 RBI, and five stolen bases. The 2003 AL All-Star reached base in all 26 games, hitting safely in 23, and had 15 multi-hit games. The Venezuelan native and sixth-year veteran is the current AL leader in batting average (.385), runs (47), and OBP (.465). This is the first Pepsi Player of the Month award for an Oriole since Albert Belle won it in June 2000.
In six starts, Buehrle went 4-0 with a 1.58 ERA, the best mark among qualifying AL starters. He struck out 37 in 40.0 innings pitched, allowing 43 hits and eight walks. The 2002 AL All-Star tossed six or more scoreless innings in three starts as the AL Central-leading White Sox posted a 6-0 record in his games. The southpaw earned a pair of wins over the division-rival Minnesota Twins, against whom he is 12-4 in his career. This is Buehrle's first career monthly award and the first for a White Sox since Esteban Loaiza won for April 2003.
Other players receiving votes were: Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki (.400, Major League-best 50 hits); Anaheim's Vladimir Guerrero (.368, 6 HR, 23 RBI) and Jose Guillen (.351, 8 HR, 27 RBI); Cleveland's Victor Martinez (.315, 5 HR, AL-high 30 RBI); Boston's Manny Ramirez (.317, AL-high 9 HR, 21 RBI); and Detroit's Alex Sanchez (.370, 10 RBI). Ichiro became the second player ever to record a second career month with at least 50 hits, joining Pete Rose.
Pitchers who were named on the monthly ballots included: Kenny Rogers (5-1, 2.20 ERA) of Texas; Minnesota's Joe Nathan (0.00 ERA, 7 saves); Oakland's Mark Mulder (4-0, 3.00 ERA, AL-high 3 CG); Mariano Rivera (1.32 ERA, AL-high 10 saves) of the New York Yankees; and Anaheim's Aaron Sele (4-0, 2.10 ERA). Rogers is the only eight-game winner in baseball. Nathan allowed just four hits and no runs in 12.2 IP, striking out 15. Mulder threw all three of his complete games in consecutive fashion.
Mora and Buehrle each will receive a specially designed trophy as the American League Pepsi Player and Pitcher of the Month.