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Pujols named NL Player of the Month

Pujols named NL Player of the Month

CINCINNATI -- Coming off one of the finest months of his magnificent Major League career, Albert Pujols was named the National League Player of the Month for June on Friday, the second time in three months this season he's been so honored.

Pujols tied a career high for home runs in a month with 14 and became the seventh player in Major League history to reach 30 home runs before July 1. He set a new personal best with 35 RBIs, and he batted .320 with a .427 on-base percentage and an .856 slugging percentage.

Pujols scored his 1,000th career run on June 19 against the Royals, and 11 of his 14 home runs during the month provided the Cardinals with a lead.

"I don't look at numbers," Pujols said. "Why am I going to sit up and look at numbers? That's not how I approach this game. If I can stay healthy and continue to do what I do, I think I'm going to have plenty of time to look at numbers at the end of my career. So why sweat it right now? Why think about it? It was a great month. Thank God that he kept me healthy to do what I did, and hopefully I can do it next month again."

The two-time MVP posted three multi-homer games in June, and he highlighted his big month with a grand slam and six RBIs against the Royals on June 21. He has a heavy lead in balloting to be the National League's starting first baseman in the All-Star Game.

"He keeps showing you why he's a great player," manager Tony La Russa said. "I don't know what else to say. Just enjoy it. Respect it. Appreciate it."

He beat out Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval and Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder for the award.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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