The Kansas City Royals announced Friday that first baseman Eric Hosmer and right-handed pitcher Jakob Junis have been named Royals Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for the month of August.
The awards are determined by a local media vote.
Hosmer hit .297/.388/.505, 30-for-101, in August and led the team with 20 RBI, including a game ending three-run homer against Colorado on Aug. 23 for his first career walk-off blast. He reached safely in 21 straight games from August 6-27, batting .347/.449/.573, 26-for-75, matching the second-longest on-base streak of his career. During the streak, he homered in back-to-back games on August 6 and 7 for the 17th time in his career and second time this season.
This is Hosmer’s 11th career Royals Player of the Month honor, third this season, third most since the award was first given in 1995, trailing only Alex Gordon and Mike Sweeney, 13 each.
Junis finished the month 3-0 with a 2.96 ERA, 9 ER in 27.1 IP, best among American League rookies in August, in five outings, four starts, becoming just the fifth Royals rookie to go 3-0 or better in a calendar month with a minimum of three starts. Junis joins Kevin Appier, August 1990, Rich Gale, July and May 1978, Dennis Leonard, August 1975, and Steve Busby, September 1972. Four of the nine runs he allowed came in his only relief appearance, but he posted a 1.80 ERA, 5 ER in 25.0 IP, in four starts.
Junis set a career high with 8.0 innings in a 9-1 win on August 6 vs. Seattle, the longest start by a Royals rookie since the late Yordano Ventura, 8.1 IP, in 2014. He recorded a career-high eight strikeouts in his most recent start on Tuesday vs. Tampa Bay and finished the month with 27 strikeouts and just two walks, good for an 8.89 strikeout-to-walk ratio, the best mark in any calendar month among Major League rookies in the 2017 season. He’s the first rookie to win Royals Pitcher of the Month honors since Louis Coleman in July 2011 and the first to do it as a starting pitcher since Brian Bannister in August 2007.
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