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09/04/2003  3:59 PM ET 
Seattle's Soriano named American League Pepsi Rookie of the Month

Seattle Mariners right-hander Rafael Soriano, who was 2-0 with a 1.62 ERA, has been named the American League Pepsi Rookie of the Month for August.

In 12 games last month, Soriano struck out 24 in 16.2 innings, allowing just seven hits and one walk. The 23-year-old Dominican Republic native earned a win at Yankee Stadium on August 10 with 1.1 innings of perfect relief. Trailing 2-0 against Baltimore on August 29, Soriano got his club out of a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth and added another perfect inning before the Mariners stormed back in the bottom of the ninth for a 3-2 win. Soriano is 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA on the season with 56 strikeouts in 43.0 innings, yielding only 23 hits and nine walks.

Soriano narrowly edged Anaheim's Chone Figgins in the voting. In 20 games, Figgins batted a Major League-best .392 (31-for-79) last month with 16 RBI. Other rookies who received votes were Cleveland's Jody Gerut (.286, 5 HR, 16 RBI), Travis Hafner (.321, 5 HR, 14 RBI), and Ryan Ludwick (.274, 5 HR, ML rookie-high 21 RBI); Detroit's Craig Monroe (.259, ML rookie-high 8 HR, 16 RBI); Kansas City's Angel Berroa (.282, 1 HR, 10 RBI); and Laynce Nix (.294, 3 HR, 14 RBI) and Mark Teixeira (.261, 5 HR, 17 RBI) of Texas. Hafner hit for Cleveland's first cycle since 1978 in a win at Minnesota on August 14.

Other rookie pitchers who excelled in August were Rafael Betancourt (1-0, 1.93 ERA) and Cliff Lee (2-1, 3.43 ERA) of the Indians; D.J. Carrasco (3-0, 2.14 ERA) of the Royals; Tampa Bay's Lance Carter (2-0, 3.38 ERA, 4 saves) and Chad Gaudin (1-0, 3.65 ERA); and R.A. Dickey (4-1, 4.85 ERA, 1 SHO, 1 save) of the Rangers.

Soriano will receive a specially designed trophy as the American League Pepsi Rookie of the Month.

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