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07/03/2002 4:08 pm ET 
Jason Simontacchi of Cardinals voted NL Rookie of the Month

Jason Simontacchi of the St. Louis Cardinals was 3-1 with a 3.14 ERA and ran away with the voting to win the National League Rookie of the Month Award for June.

Simontacchi made five starts, pitched 28.2 innings, allowed 28 hits and struck out 10 batters. The 28-year-old rookie made his Major League debut on May 4 as an emergency starter, won that game and proceeded to win his next four decisions, the first St. Louis pitcher to begin his career 5-0 since Rene Arocha in 1993.

Since being drafted by the Royals in 1996, Simontacchi has pitched in the Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Minnesota organizations, as well as spending time in the independent Frontier League, the Italian Professional League and the Venezuelan Winter League. He also pitched for the Italian National Team at the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia, compiling a 1.17 ERA.

Other rookies who received votes were: Brad Wilkerson (.290, 3 HR, 6 RBI) and T.J. Tucker (0-0, 1.80 ERA) of the Expos; Oliver Perez (2-0, 2.41 ERA), Julius Matos (.269, 2 HR, 11 RBI) and Ramon Vazquez (.328, 1 HR, 7 RBI) of the Padres; Alex Sanchez of the Brewers (.319, 5 SB); Ryan Jensen (3-1, 3.81 ERA) and Damon Minor (.262, 3 HR, 8 RBI) of the Giants; Reggie Taylor of the Reds (.286, 1 HR, 9 RBI); Ricky Stone of the Astros (1-0, 1.20 ERA); Kevin Gryboski of the Braves (2-0, 2.92 ERA); Michael Tejera of the Marlins (2-1, 2.63 ERA); Mark Prior of the Cubs (1-1, 4.86 ERA); and Carlos Silva of the Phillies (0-0, 2.84 ERA).

Simontacchi will receive a specially designed, engraved award from the T.R. Miller Company to commemorate his Rookie of the Month performance.

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