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Wainwright named NL Pitcher of the Month

Cardinals ace won four games, struck out 40 batters in June

A stellar June has earned Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright his first National League Pitcher of the Month Award.

Wainwright started six games and gave St. Louis a Major League-high 45 2/3 innings. He led the NL in wins by going 4-2 and finished fourth with a 1.77 ERA. He also struck out 40 to finish fifth in the league, walked only six and held opposing batters to a .220 batting average.

The 31-year-old, who finished among the top three in NL Cy Young Award voting in 2009 and '10, is enjoying his strongest season since he missed '11 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Wainwright is 11-5 with a 2.22 ERA, while leading the Majors in complete games (4) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (9.5).

Wainwright lasted at least 6 2/3 innings in each of his June outings and held the opposition to two runs or fewer in all but one.

He began the month in the second game of a doubleheader against the Giants on June 1, giving up one run and striking out 10 in a complete game. On June 13, against the Mets, he notched his 1,000th career strikeout, while tossing seven scoreless innings. The seven-year veteran closed out his month on Saturday at Oakland, twirling another one-run complete game and racking up eight K's.

Wainwright is the first Cardinals Pitcher of the Month recipient since Chris Carpenter in August 2009.

Andrew Simon is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @HitTheCutoff.
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