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Mariners’ Edwin Díaz named Reliever of the Month for 3rd time in 4 tries

Mariners closer Edwin Díaz didn't allow an earned run over his 10 appearances in July. (AP)

At this point in the season, there should be no doubt who is the clear favorite to be the American League’s Reliever of the Year.

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That would be Mariners closer Edwin Díaz, who on Thursday was named the AL’s Reliever of the Month for the third time already this season. That makes Díaz three for four in Reliever of the Month award chances in 2018, which is almost as good as his 93 percent mark in save opportunities (40 for 43).

For Díaz’s latest award, he was honored for going 9 for 9 in saves in July, giving up no earned runs in 10 innings over 10 appearances. He stuck out 19 and allowed just two hits and two walks for an opponents average of .063 and 0.40 WHIP.

On the year, Díaz leads all MLB pitchers with his 40 saves. He has a 2.04 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 83 strikeouts over 53 innings (53 games).

Earlier this week, he became the second-fastest pitcher to reach 40 saves in a season (in his team’s 106th game) behind only Francisco Rodriguez of the Angels in his team’s 98th game in 2008. Rodriguez went on to set the single-season record of 62 saves that year.

In just his third major league season, Díaz already ranks fourth in Mariners history with 92 saves, and he could soon move into third place, where Mike Schooler currently sits with 98 career saves for Seattle. Since the date of his first save – Aug. 2, 2016 – his 92 saves lead all MLB pitchers, ahead of the Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen (87) and Boston’s Craig Kimbrel (81).

This is the fourth AL Reliever of the Month award overall for Díaz, who also took the honor for July 2017.

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