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08/03/2011 4:26 PM ET
Kershaw named NL Pitcher of the Month
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Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been voted National League Pitcher of the Month for the month of July.

In five July starts, the 2011 National League All-Star went 4-1 with a 2.02 ERA and an N.L.-leading 45 strikeouts in 35.2 innings of work. The young left-hander was tied for the N.L. lead in wins and had the third-lowest ERA among N.L. starters with at least 30.0 innings during the month, while his eight walks were the fewest by any pitcher with at least 30 strikeouts during the month. After losing his first July decision, Kershaw bounced back to win four consecutive starts. On July 7th, the Texan tossed 8.0 shutout innings, striking out nine New York Mets hitters in an eventual 9-4 Dodgers' victory. After pitching a scoreless fifth inning for the N.L. squad in his first All-Star Game on July 12th, the 23-year-old began the second half of his 2011 campaign with a 7.0-inning, eight-strikeout victory in Arizona. On July 20th, Kershaw excelled versus the defending World Series Champions, tossing 8.0 shutout innings and striking out a season-high 12 in a 1-0 win at San Francisco's AT&T Park. Kershaw allowed just three hits in the outing while walking one. Kershaw, who was selected seventh overall in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, continued his intra-division dominance on July 26th, earning his 12th win of the season with a 6.2-inning, six-strikeout effort against the visiting Colorado Rockies in which he threw a career-high 125 pitches. In his final four starts last month, Kershaw went 4-0 with a 0.61 ERA (two earned runs in 29.2 innings pitched) while limiting opposing hitters to a .194 batting average (21-for-108) in that span. The L.A. ace currently ranks second in the Majors and first in the N.L. with 177 strikeouts this season. His 161.1 innings are the second-most by an N.L. pitcher this season and his 2.68 ERA is the league's fifth-lowest. With 13 wins this year, he has already matched his previous career high. This is his first career monthly award.

Other pitchers receiving votes were Phillies rookie right-hander Vance Worley (4-0, 2.16 ERA, CG, 29 SO, 35.1 IP); Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto (2-2, 1.52 ERA, 2 CG, SHO, 19 SO, 41.1 IP); Arizona's Joe Saunders (4-1, 2.16 ERA, CG, 17 SO, 41.2 IP); Braves rookie reliever Craig Kimbrel (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 8 SV, 19 SO, 12.0 IP) and teammate Tim Hudson (4-1, 2.83 ERA, 34 SO, 41.1 IP); Chris Carpenter (3-0, 2.68 ERA, 25 SO, 37.0 IP) of the St. Louis Cardinals; Florida's Leo Nuñez (2.19 ERA, 8 SV, 9 SO, 12.1 IP); and San Francisco's Tim Lincecum (3-2, 1.80 ERA, 30 SO, 30.0 IP).

The National League Pitcher of the Month for July 2011, Clayton Kershaw, will receive specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his performance.

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