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10/04/2010 5:31 PM ET
Division rivals A-Rod, Price earn American League September honors
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New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price have been voted the American League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for September.

Rodriguez led the A.L. in RBI (26) and slugging percentage (.667), and tied for second with nine home runs. He ranks among the league leaders for the season in home runs (8th, 30) and RBI (2nd, 125). The 35-year-old right-handed slugger reached base safely in 18-of-22 games played last month while leading the Yankees to their 15th postseason berth in the last 16 years. On September 17th, Alex smashed his second home run of the game, a three-run shot in the ninth inning that carried the Yankees to a 4-3 win at Baltimore. Rodriguez collected his 100th RBI of the season on September 6th in a 4-3 loss to Baltimore. He continued his historic month by blasting his 30th home run of the season on September 29th in an 8-4 loss at Toronto. It is the 13th consecutive season that the 13-time A.L. All-Star has reached the 30-home run and 100-RBI plateaus and 14th season overall, which is the most in Major League history. The three-time A.L. M.V.P. also passed Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx for the most career 100-RBI seasons all-time. He trails only Hank Aaron (15) for the most 30-home run seasons ever. This is the 10th career monthly award for Rodriguez (previous: June 2007), which is the most of any active player. He is the second Yankees player to earn the honor this season (Robinson Cano, April), marking the first year a pair of Yankees teammates have won the award since 2007.

Price went 4-0 with a 1.67 earned run average and 33 strikeouts over six September starts. He finished the month second in the A.L. in ERA, tied for second in wins and innings pitched (43.0), third in opponent batting average (.175) and baserunners allowed per nine innings (8.58). The A.L.'s starting pitcher of the 2010 All-Star Game ranks among the A.L. season leaders in wins (T-2nd, 19), ERA (3rd, 2.72), opponent batting average (5th, .221) and strikeouts (8th, 188). Price helped guide Tampa Bay to its second A.L. East Championship in franchise history as the Rays won each of his six starts last month, five of which came against A.L. East rivals. The first overall selection of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft allowed no more than one earned run in four of his six starts. In September, the southpaw logged a career-high 43.0 innings pitched. Over his first three starts of the month, the 25-year-old tossed 22.0 innings and allowed just two earned runs on nine hits with 13 strikeouts. On September 28th, the Nashville, TN native hurled 8.0 scoreless innings, permitting six hits with eight strikeouts to earn a victory over Baltimore and clinch a playoff spot for Tampa Bay. This is the first career monthly award for Price, who becomes just the second Rays pitcher in franchise history to claim the award (Scott Kazmir, May 2008).

The runner-up for the A.L. Player of the Month was Cleveland Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, who batted .333 with six home runs, 25 RBI and seven stolen bases. Also receiving votes were Oakland Athletics second baseman Mark Ellis (.413, 1 HR, 11 RBI); Minnesota Twins designated hitter Jim Thome (.357, 7 HR, 14 RBI); Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (.232, 11 HR, 21 RBI); Boston Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez (.333, 7 HR, 25 RBI); Price's Rays teammate Carl Crawford (.376, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 5 SB); and Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (.342, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 6 SB). Finishing second to Price in the A.L. Pitcher of the Month balloting was Seattle Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez, who posted a 3-2 record with a 1.64 ERA and 32 strikeouts. Also receiving votes were Boston Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester (5-1, 3.79 ERA, 49 SO) and Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander (4-1, 2.54 ERA, 51 SO).

Rodriguez and Price will each receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate their Player and Pitcher of the Month performances.

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