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June MVP winners announced

Kyodo

Yokohama BayStars right-hander Shun Yamaguchi and Hiroshima Carp second baseman Ryosuke Kikuchi won the monthly MVP awards for pitchers and position players, respectively, in the Central League for the month of June, it was announced on Tuesday.

The Pacific League monthly MVPs went to Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles right-hander Takahiro Norimoto and Fukuoka Softbank Hawks first baseman Lee Dae-ho.

Kikuchi and Norimoto were first-time winners of the accolade, while Yamaguchi won it for the second time and first since claiming it when he closed for the BayStars in 2009.

It was the third time Lee took the monthly MVP. He previously won it in July 2012 with the Orix Buffaloes.

Yamaguchi switched to the starting rotation in June this year and went 3-1 with a 0.99 ERA in four starts the same month. It was the second month in a row that a Yokohama pitcher won the monthly MVP following Shoichi Ino in May — a franchise first.

Kikuchi hit safely in all 18 games played in June and registered a .400 batting average.

Norimoto, the 2013 PL Rookie of the Year, threw two shutouts and matched the league high with three wins (one defeat) in five starts and led the league with 38 strikeouts. Lee batted a league-high .400 with three home runs and 14 RBIs.