07/02/12 5:10 PM ET
Harrison claims AL Pitcher of the Month Award
By Zack Meisel / MLB.com
Harrison went 5-0 with a 1.29 ERA in six June starts. The 26-year-old finished the month tied for first in the American League in wins, second in ERA and third in innings pitched (42).
"The biggest thing for me in June was just staying consistent, keeping attacking hitters and keeping the ball down," Harrison said. "I think the key was my mental preparation for each start. It was a good month and I just want to keep it going."
In the only June outing in which he didn't record a victory, Harrison blanked the Diamondbacks over 7 1/3 innings. The Rangers eventually beat Arizona, 1-0. Harrison tossed a complete-game shutout against the Giants on June 8, and held the Rockies scoreless through five innings on June 24. The southpaw limited Oakland to two runs in eight innings in a 4-3 win on Friday.
Harrison (11-3, 3.16 ERA) is the first Rangers hurler to record 11 victories before the All-Star break since Kenny Rogers in 2004. The former third-round pick by the Braves is 7-0 in his last eight starts, and hasn't lost a decision since May 12.
Harrison had competition from a few other AL starters who had outstanding months on the hill. Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda went 4-1 with a 1.98 ERA in June. White Sox lefty Chris Sale went 3-0 with a 2.15 ERA, and Boston's Clay Buchholz was 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA.
This is Harrison's first career monthly honor, but it is not the first award for a Rangers player this year. All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton was the AL Player of the Month for April and May, and rookie starter Yu Darvish claimed the AL Rookie of the Month Award for April.