• Kyodo


Former St. Louis Cardinal Brandon Dickson, now with the Orix Bufaloes, won his first Pacific League Pitcher of the Month Award on Friday, when lefty Yudai Ono of the Central League’s Chunichi Dragons and slugger Yoshitomo Tsutsugo of the CL’s Yokohama BayStars also secured monthly honors for the first time.

First baseman Lee Dae-ho of the Softbank Hawks collected his fourth.

Dickson, who pitched in eight games for the Cards in 2011 and 2012, signed with the Buffaloes in 2013. He went 4-0 in five games, while allowing one earned run in 34-2/3 innings and striking out 25. He said familiarity with opposing batters has helped but did not discount the amount of luck involved. He entered this season with a 17-18 record in Japan, but said Thursday he is not doing anything differently.

“I’ve been asked that question but I haven’t really changed anything, not mechanically,” Dickson told Kyodo News after allowing an unlucky run in seven superb innings only to lose 1-0 to the Yomiuri Giants.

“I can remember all the guys now and that makes it easier to remember what they can and can’t hit. But after that it comes down to executing. Overall, I’ve been having fairly good luck. Besides that I haven’t walked a lot of guys.”

The exception was a soggy game in Sendai when he issued seven of his season total of 23 walks over 76-2/3 innings.

“I had that one (in Sendai),” he said. “I’ve been trying to push that out of my mind.”

Lee hit .439 with eight home runs, 24 RBIs and a .505 on-base percentage.

Ono went 4-1, leading the CL in wins, while allowing a 2.39 ERA in 37-2/3 innings over five games. He struck out 27. His selection gives the Dragons 83 monthly awards, equaling the Yomiuri Giants for the most won by a single team.

Tsutsugo, who was named a BayStars captain this season, led the league last month with a .383 batting average, while hitting five home runs and 18 RBIs. The award for March and April went to his teammate Takayuki Kajitani.

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