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J-Ram, Carpenter earn Player of Month nods

MLB.com @MannyOnMLB

With scorching performances at the plate in July, Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez and Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter were named American League and National League Players of the Month on Thursday.

With scorching performances at the plate in July, Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez and Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter were named American League and National League Players of the Month on Thursday.

Video: CLE@MIN: Ramirez rips 2nd solo HR of the game, No. 32

Ramirez continued to state his case as an AL Most Valuable Player Award candidate by belting eight homers, stealing 11 bases and producing a 1.164 OPS in July for the Tribe. On July 30, he launched two homers to push his season total to 32 -- tied with the Red Sox's J.D. Martinez for tops in MLB -- and become the first Indians player to hit that many prior to Aug. 1 since newly inducted Hall of Famer Jim Thome did so in 2001. The Player of the Month honor is the first of Ramirez's career.

Video: COL@STL: Carpenter passes Brock for most leadoff HRs

Carpenter, meanwhile, belted an MLB-best 11 homers during the month, vaulting himself to second in the NL in that category with 26 homers entering August; the Rockies' Nolan Arenado is in first place with 28. Overall, Carpenter hit .333/.447/.774 in July, raising his season OPS from .871 to .960 in the process. The Player of the Month Award is also Carpenter's first.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Carpenter, Jose Ramirez