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Pineda snags AL rookie honor

The Sports Xchange
Roster Report · Notes, Quotes · Pineda snags AL rookie honor

Michael Pineda became just the third Mariner ever to win an American League Rookie of the Month Award when he was named the league's April winner Tuesday.

Pineda, 22, lost his first big-league start against Texas on April 5, then reeled off four consecutive wins to finish the month 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA. He struck out 30 in 31 1/3 innings.

He joins right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, a four-time winner in 2001, and reliever Rafael Soriano (2003) as the only Mariners to bring home a monthly rookie award.

"Wow, I'm excited. I don't know what to say," Pineda said shortly after the announcement came down. "There've been a lot of new things for me so far."

The 6-foot-7 right-hander, due to start against the Rangers in Safeco Field on Wednesday, has had a quality start in each of his first five games. He sat a club record for the most wins by a rookie pitcher in April. No Mariners rookie pitcher had won as many in any month since Freddy Garcia won four in August 1999.

His four-game winning streak in April made Pineda just the fifth rookie pitcher since 1900 to win four consecutive starts in a season before the end of April. The other were Monte Weaver (1932 Senators), Jerry Koosman (1968 Mets), Fernando Valenzuela (1981 Dodgers) and Kaz Ishii (2002). Valenzuela and Ishii both won five in succession.

When the season started, Pineda was the third-youngest player in the major leagues at 22 years, 72 days as of March 31.

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