By Bob Dutton The News Tribune
HOUSTON — The King reigned in June.
Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez was picked as the American League pitcher of the month for the fourth time in his career after going 3-1 with a 1.22 ERA in six June starts.
“I’m happy,” he said. “That means I’m pitching pretty good, right?”
Hernandez struck out 54 and walked just six in 441/3 innings in June. He also permitted only 26 hits while holding opponents to a .170/.201/.210 slash (batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage).
“It’s pretty good,” he said, “but I’ve got to keep going. I don’t want it to be just one month. I want it to be the whole season.”
Hernandez is 10-2 overall with a 2.10 ERA in 18 starts. He also has 137 strikeouts in 1281/3 innings. He ranks second among AL pitchers in victories, innings, strikeouts and ERA.
Hernandez, 28, previously won the award in June and September 2009 and August 2012. Oddly, he did not win the monthly award in 2010, when he was the AL’s Cy Young recipient.
No other Mariners pitcher has ever won the award more than twice.