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05/02/2006 4:32 PM ET
Giambi and Contreras named American League Player, Pitcher of the Month
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Jose Contreras has been named American League Pitcher of the Month for April 2006. (Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images)
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New York Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi and Chicago White Sox right-hander Jose Contreras have been named the American League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for April.

Giambi recorded multiple home run games twice during the month of April, giving him 32 for his career. In 22 games, Giambi batted .344 (21-61) with 27 RBI, 17 runs scored and 52 total bases. The 2000 A.L. Most Valuable Player led the American League with a .852 slugging percentage and a .554 on-base percentage. In New York's home opener against Kansas City, Giambi hit a first inning three-run home run. Throughout the opening series sweep, Giambi went 5-for-8 with seven RBI and two home runs. On April 16 in Minnesota, Giambi helped avert a sweep by homering twice against Brad Radke and the Twins. The 35-year-old left-handed hitter also went deep twice on April 23 when he went 3-for-4 with a season-high five RBI in the 7-1 Yankee win over Baltimore. He tied a career-high in walks with four in the Yankees loss to Tampa Bay on April 26 and finished the month with an A.L. best 26 walks. This is the sixth career Player of the Month Award for Giambi, his fourth as a member of the Yankees.

Contreras, who was 4-0 in the season's opening month and is 15-2 since the 2005 All-Star break, surrendered just six earned runs on 24 hits over 37.1 IP in five games as he helped the World Champion Chicago White Sox establish a first place lead in the A.L. Central Division. The Cuban-born right-hander struck out 17 and walked eight as he posted a 1.45 ERA in five starts. On April 17, Contreras combined with White Sox relievers Boone Logan and Cliff Politte to blank Kansas City 9-0, beginning a three-game sweep of the Royals. In a rematch of the 2005 A.L.C.S. on April 29, Contreras allowed just one run on five hits in 8.1 innings against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This is the second consecutive A.L. Pitcher of the Month Award for Contreras, who finished last season by capturing the monthly prize for September. He is the first American League pitcher since Pedro Martinez (1999-2000) to finish one season and begin the next as the reigning Pitcher of the Month.

Toronto's Vernon Wells (.396, 9 HR, 25 RBI) finished a distant second to Giambi and Rookie of the Month Jonathan Papelbon (0.00, 14.1 IP, 10 S) was runner-up to Contreras. Giambi and Contreras each will receive a specially designed trophy as the American League Player and Pitcher of the Month.

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