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Brooks Conrad named winner of the "Major League Baseball Clutch Performer of the Month Award Presented by Pepsi" for May06/07/2010 10:26 AM ET
Brooks Conrad of the Atlanta Braves was selected by fans in an online vote as the winner of the "Major League Baseball Clutch Performer of the Month Award Presented by Pepsi" for May, it was announced today. The award recognizes the player who performed his best when the game was on the line. Pepsi has been the "Official Soft Drink of Major League Baseball" since 1997.
The "MLB Clutch Performer of the Month Award Presented by Pepsi" winner is selected by the fans from a list of six nominees chosen by a special editorial panel from MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball. During the first week of each month, fans can visit a microsite, pepsiclutch.mlb.com, powered by MLB.com specifically created for the Clutch Performer platform to vote for the nominee they believe was the best Clutch Performer during the previous month.
Conrad hit .250 (6-for-24) during the month of May with a double, three home runs and nine RBI for the N.L. East-leading Atlanta Braves. The 30-year-old infielder's month was highlighted by a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam against the Cincinnati Reds on May 20th. With the Braves trailing 9-6 in the ninth inning, Conrad blasted his fifth career home run and his first grand slam to give Atlanta a 10-9 victory. Brooks became the first Major League player to hit a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam since Gregg Zaun did it for the Houston Astros on June 27, 2002 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. In addition, the switch-hitting San Diego native was the first rookie to accomplish the feat since Cleveland's Ron Lolich on April 22, 1973 against the Boston Red Sox. The walk-off grand slam was the 23rd in Major League history to overcome a three-run deficit, and just the second time it was done by a pinch-hitter, joining Jack Phillips, who did it for the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1950 against St. Louis. Conrad drew his first start of the season on May 9th at Philadelphia, and also started for the Braves on May 11th and 12th at Milwaukee. The Arizona State University product homered in each of the starts at Milwaukee, going 2-for-4 with a solo shot and two runs scored on May 11th, and 2-for-5 with a home run, double and four RBI on May 12th. The four-RBI performance set a new career-high for Brooks, which he later matched with his grand slam against the Reds. Conrad, who was originally selected by the Astros in the eighth round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, was signed by the Braves as a Minor League free agent in November 2008.
At the conclusion of the season, fans will have the opportunity to vote on the "Major League Baseball Clutch Performer of the Year Award Presented by Pepsi" award winner at MLB.com and the award will be presented during the Major League Baseball postseason. Last season, Andre Ethier was named the recipient of the "2009 MLB Clutch Performer of the Year Award Presented by Pepsi."
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