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Maeda, Ramirez nab May accolades

Kyodo News

Hiroshima Carp right-hander Kenta Maeda and Yomiuri Giants outfielder Alex Ramirez were named MVPs for best pitcher and position player, respectively, for the month of May in the Central League, it was announced on Friday.

Maeda, who went 4-1 with a 1.35 ERA in five starts last month, won the award for the first time in his fourth year of pro baseball.

Ramirez took the accolade for the eighth time in his career, a tie for second on the all-time list, after hitting a league-high nine home runs with 25 RBIs during the same span.

In the Pacific League, Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles right-hander Masahiro Tanaka claimed the honor after going 4-1 in five starts.

Tanaka won the MVP in April and August last season, making him only the fourth PL pitcher to claim the award three times in two consecutive seasons.

Chiba Lotte Marines shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka, meanwhile, won the award for position players for the first time in five seasons after going on a 22-game hitting streak from April 29.

He batted .417 with 35 hits, 20 runs scored and a .500 on-base percentage — all league highs — in May.