Lefty wins second career monthly award and fourth by an Astro this season

Major League Baseball announced this afternoon that Houston Astros left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir has been named the American League Pitcher of the Month for July.

Kazmir, who was acquired via trade by the Astros on July 23, combined to go 2-0 with a 0.26 ERA (1ER/34IP) in five starts with the Astros (2g) and the A’s (3g) this month. He allowed just 22 baserunners and three extra-base hits in his 34.0 innings pitched, posting a .134 (15x112) opponent batting average, which led the American League.

Kazmir’s month was historic, as he posted the third-lowest ERA in July in Major League history (min. 25 IP). The only two to top Kazmir’s month were Spud Chandler (0.24) for the New York Yankees in 1941 and Frank Allen (0.25) for the Boston Braves in 1916. Ranking fourth on that list is Clayton Kershaw, who posted a 0.27 ERA (1ER/33IP) last month.

In his two starts as an Astro, Kazmir went 7.0 scoreless on July 24 at KC and 7.2 scoreless on July 30 vs. LAA. He became just the third pitcher in franchise history to post consecutive scoreless starts of 7-or-more innings in his first two starts with the club. The other two were Robin Roberts (1965) and Dean Stone (1962), who both tossed shutouts in their first two starts for Houston.

This marks Kazmir’s second Pitcher of the Month Award, as he also took home the award for Tampa Bay in May of 2008. This is the fourth time an Astro has won a monthly award this season, as Dallas Keuchel won the AL Pitcher of the Month Award in both April and May, while Carlos Correa won the AL Rookie of the Month Award in June.

Prior to this year, the 1979 season was the only other year when the Astros took home multiple pitcher of the month awards, as Ken Forsch (April), Joe Niekro(May), Joaquin Andujar (June) and J.R. Richard (September) all received National League Pitcher of the Month honors.