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08/04/2010 5:26 PM ET
Rafael Soriano named winner of the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award for July
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Rafael Soriano of the Tampa Bay Rays has been selected as the winner of the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award for July, it was announced today. This Major League Baseball award recognizes the most outstanding relief pitcher during each month of the regular season as voted on by a panel from Major League Baseball.

Soriano recorded a Major League-best 11 saves during July while posting a 2.57 ERA in 14 appearances. In 14.0 innings pitched, Rafael surrendered 11 hits and four earned runs with four walks and nine strikeouts. In six of his appearances during the month, Soriano tossed a perfect inning of relief. The 30-year-old right-hander converted saves on four consecutive days from July 3rd - 4th at Minnesota and July 5th - 6th vs. Tampa Bay's A.L. East-rival Boston Red Sox. The Dominican-born closer also saved games on back-to-back days from July 24th - 25th at Cleveland and July 27th - 28th against Detroit. Rafael also made his first All-Star Game appearance in Anaheim, tossing a perfect eighth inning. He was the fourth Rays closer ever named to the A.L. All-Star team, joining Roberto Hernandez (1999), Lance Carter (2003) and Danys Baez (2005). Soriano's 11 saves in July tied him with Baez (August 2005) for the most saves in a single month by a Rays pitcher. Soriano has an A.L.-leading 30 saves on the season and is just the third Rays pitcher to reach that plateau, joining Hernandez (43 in 1999, 32 in 2000) and Baez (30 in 2004, 41 in 2005). Since July 1, 2009, his 51 saves are the most in the Majors. This is the second Delivery Man of the Month Award this season for Rafael, who was also voted the winner in May.

Other relievers receiving votes included Heath Bell (2-0, 1.54 ERA, 8 SV, 11.2 IP, 4 BB, 15 SO) of the San Diego Padres; Leo Nuñez (1-1, 2.31 ERA, 10 SV, 11.2 IP, 3 BB, 17 SO) of the Florida Marlins; and Kansas City's Joakim Soria (0-1, 2.03 ERA, 8 SV, 13.1 IP, 5 BB, 15 SO).

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