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Sox infielder Iglesias AL Rookie of the Month

Cuban native bats .395, scores 17 runs, has career-best 18-game hit streak

BOSTON -- It wasn't long ago Jose Iglesias was considered a defensive replacement with a below-average bat.

Now he's considered one of the best rookies in the American League.

The native of Cuba was named the AL Rookie of the Month for his performance in June. He batted .395 (34-for-86) with four doubles, two triples, one home run and 17 runs scored in 25 games last month. The infielder also collected two or more hits in 11 contests and constructed a career-best 18-game hitting streak in late May through mid-June, during which he hit .422.

On the year he's hitting even better, boasting a .415 average in 135 at-bats, with no signs of slowing down.

As Iglesias sat surrounded by a crowd of reporters before the Red Sox faced the Padres on Wednesday, he credited hard work and good fortune for his success.

"You need a little bit of luck too, but I feel pretty good so far with how I'm playing right now," he said.

Iglesias, 23, is the first Red Sox player to be named Rookie of the Month since teammate Jacoby Ellsbury won the award in 2007.

Iglesias has been an everyday player in the Red Sox lineup since Boston sent Will Middlebrooks down to Triple-A Pawtucket. More than halfway through the season, Iglesias figures to be among the front-runners for the AL Rookie of the Year Award, an honor he admits he's thought about.

"Absolutely I think about it, but not when the game starts," he said. "When the game starts it's all about this game, one day at a time. I would love to win that, but that's not my goal. My goal is to take this team to the playoffs and try to win championships."

There was plenty of competition for the award this month. Kansas City outfielder David Lough batted .322 with two homers and 11 RBIs. Seattle infielder Nick Franklin hit .296 with two homers and 13 RBIs. Rays hurler Alex Torres posted a 1-0 record and 0.48 ERA while tallying 28 strikeouts. Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia batted .328 with two homers and 10 RBIs.

Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for Zack Meisel is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel.

Boston Red Sox, Jose Iglesias