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Upton named AL Player of the Month

Upton named AL Player of the Month

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ARLINGTON -- Rays center fielder B.J. Upton has been named the Sharp Presents the American League Player of the Month for June.

In 26 games in June, Upton batted .324 with five home runs, 20 runs scored, 22 RBIs and an AL-best 10 doubles. The 24-year-old leadoff hitter also posted a .562 slugging percentage, a .395 on-base percentage and led the Majors with 14 stolen bases for the month. Entering today's game at Texas, Upton ranks third in the Majors with 29 stolen bases, behind teammate Carl Crawford (40) and Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury (33).

"I've been swinging the bat well lately," Upton said, "and I guess that's how you get it.

"It feels good, but you can't dwell on it too long. Embrace it while you have the chance, then move on, keep trying to get better."

During a three-game Interleague series against the Nationals from June 12-14, Upton compiled two stolen bases in three straight games, marking the first time in his career he had three consecutive multi-SB games. Upton also compiled six multi-RBI games, the first six of his 2009 season, and 10 multi-hit games, which extends his season total to 18.

On June 21, Upton tied career-highs with four hits and four RBIs, finishing a triple shy of the cycle, en route to a 10-6 win over the Mets at Citi Field.

Upton, who was the second overall pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, reached base successfully in 24 of his 26 games played in the month of June.

The runners-up were Angels outfielder Juan Rivera, who batted .290 and led the A.L. with eight home runs and 24 RBIs in the month, and Jays designated hitter Adam Lind, who posted a .650 slugging percentage and a .434 on-base percentage. Also receiving votes was Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who hit a Major League-best .407 with six doubles, two triples, eight stolen bases and 19 runs scored.

MLB fans can visit sharpmlb.com throughout the season to access information, unique statistics, video clips and exclusive editorial content focused on the Sharp Presents the American League and National League Players of the Month Award.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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