Houston Astros starting pitcher Scott Kazmir has been voted the American League Pitcher of the Month for July.
Kazmir compiled a 2-0 record with a 0.26 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 34.0 innings pitched over five starts to claim his second career AL Pitcher of the Month Award, last winning with the Tampa Bay Rays in May 2008.
Among AL starters for the month, Scott finished first in ERA, tied for sixth in strikeouts and surrendered the fewest hits. Opposing batters hit just .134 off the left-hander and did not record a home run. The Astros now account for three of the four 2015 AL Pitcher of the Month Award winners (Dallas Keuchel: April & May).
The former first round pick (by the New York Mets) in the 2002 MLB Draft split his award-winning month with the Oakland A's before being traded to Houston on July 23rd. In his first three starts of July with Oakland, Kazmir allowed just one run in 19.1 innings pitched. On July 24th in his first start as a member of the Astros, the 31-year-old veteran was dominant, shutting out the Kansas City Royals through 7.0 innings.
Kazmir became the eighth pitcher in franchise history to toss at least 7.0 shutout innings in his Astros debut and the fourth since 2000, joining Jarred Cosart (2013), Roger Clemens (2004) and Carlos Hernandez (2001). The crafty lefty followed up his debut with an equally impressive outing on July 30th at Minute Maid Park against the Los Angeles Angels, tossing 7.2 innings of shutout ball.
The Houston native became the third pitcher in club history to toss at least 7.0 shutout innings in each of his first two games as an Astros starter, joining Robin Roberts (1965) and Dean Stone (1962), who each tossed complete game shutouts in their first two games with Houston. Kazmir, a three-time AL All-Star, posted historic numbers for the month of July, allowing just one earned run in his five starts and 34.0 innings pitched. His 0.26 ERA for the month is the third-lowest mark for July in MLB history, trailing only Frank Allen of the Boston Red Sox in 1916 (0.25 ERA) and Spud Chandler of the New York Yankees in 1941 (0.24 ERA).
Over his last 13 starts in July, Kazmir is 7-0 with a 1.16 ERA, dating back to July 13, 2013. He has not lost in the month since July 10, 2010, when, as a member of the Los Angeles Angels, he took the defeat against the A's. Entering play today, the 11-year-veteran leads the AL in ERA (2.10) and has the second-lowest batting average against (.203), trailing only his former teammate, Sonny Gray.
Major League Baseball media services.
Others receiving votes for AL Pitcher of the Month included AL Rookie of the Month Andrew Heaney (4-0, 1.98 ERA, 27.1 IP, 19 SO) of the Angels; Mark Buehrle (3-1, 1.82 ERA, 1 CG, 34.2 IP) and David Price (2-2, 2.25 ERA, 36.0 IP, 38 SO) of the Toronto Blue Jays; Jose Quintana (3-2, 2.57 ERA, 1 CG, 1 SHO) of the Chicago White Sox; Wade Davis (4-0, 0.84 ERA, 12 G, 12 SO) of the Royals; and Chris Tillman (2-0, 1.31 ERA, 34.1 IP, 24 SO) of the Baltimore Orioles.