09/04/2003 2:42 PM ET
Rodriguez, Santana named American League Pepsi Player, Pitcher of the Month
Texas Rangers slugger Alex Rodriguez, whose 15 home runs were the most ever hit in one month by a shortstop, and Minnesota Twins left-hander Johan Santana, who was 5-0 with a 1.07 ERA, have been named August's American League Pepsi Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively.
Rodriguez led the Major Leagues in homers, runs (30), and slugging percentage (.849) in August and was tied for the top mark with 31 RBI. In 29 games, the seven-time AL All-Star batted .340 (36-for-106) with five doubles, two triples, 21 walks, five stolen bases, and a .454 on-base percentage. On August 31, Rodriguez joined Babe Ruth as the second player in history to record six straight 40-homer seasons, and his 15 homers tied the Texas monthly record. He has not missed a game since joining the Rangers in 2001. This is the fourth career monthly award for Rodriguez, who also won in August of 2002.
Santana tied for the ML high with five wins and posted the best ERA among AL starting pitchers. In six starts, the 24-year-old Venezuela native struck out 44 in 42.0 innings, allowing only 30 hits and 10 walks. Santana (9-3, 2.72 ERA on the season) went six innings or more without allowing more than two runs in each of his starts and struck out 10 batters in two consecutive starts on August 8 and August 13.
Other players who received votes for the award were Tampa Bay's Aubrey Huff (.359, 7 HR, 27 RBI); Oakland's Miguel Tejada (.327, 8 HR, 25 RBI); Kansas City's Carlos Beltran (.341, 6 HR, 21 RBI); Boston's David Ortiz (.287, 11 HR, 24 RBI, .723 SLG); and Joe Crede (.352, 7 HR, 18 RBI) and Frank Thomas (.263, 13 HR, tied for ML-high with 31 RBI) of the Chicago White Sox.
Pitchers receiving consideration were Athletics right-handers Tim Hudson (5-0, 1.62 ERA) and Keith Foulke (1-0, 1.02 ERA, 9 saves).
Rodriguez and Santana will each receive specially designed trophies as the American League Pepsi Player and Pitcher of the Month.