Yomiuri Giants right-hander Yuya Kubo and Hiroshima Carp first baseman Kenta Kurihara were named the Central League monthly MVPs for August on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Fukuoka Softbank Hawks right-hander Shota Oba won the accolade for pitchers for the first time, while Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles shortstop Kazuo Matsui took the honor for position players in the Pacific League.
Kubo, who was named MVP for the first time, has taken over the closer’s role since after the All-Star break and posted 11 saves with a 1-0 record and 0.63 ERA in 14 games last month. Kurihara had a CL-high nine homers with 25 RBIs to claim the award for the second time.
“I always wanted to win an MVP award, so I’m happy,” said Kubo, whose 11 saves matched former Yomiuri Giants pitcher Koji Uehara’s club record set in August 2007. “I know when I have to pitch now, so it’s become easier for me to adjust.”
Oba threw one shutout and went 4-1 with a 1.71 ERA. Former major leaguer Matsui led the PL with 35 hits with a .333 batting average. It was Matsui’s first MVP award and fifth overall since September 2002 when he played for the Seibu Lions.