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Bay wins NL Rookie of Month award
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07/03/2004  6:02 PM ET
Bay wins NL Rookie of Month award
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PITTSBURGH -- Pirates left fielder Jason Bay was named Saturday as the National League's Rookie of the Month for June.

Bay, 25, missed all of April while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and struggled upon returning to the Pirates lineup in May. During June, however, he batted .273 and led all NL rookies with seven home runs and 17 RBIs.

"It's definitely a nice honor," Bay said of the award. "It's nice to have a little success to breed confidence. The first month or so I was here I wasn't really confident."

Bay gave himself a head start on the competition for the July rookie honors by going 4-for-5 with three doubles and eight RBIs Friday in the second game of Pittsburgh's doubleheader against the Brewers.

"I'm just trying to do what I can do," Bay said after his second career eight-RBI performance. "This is definitely a rarity."

Heading into action Saturday, Bay leads all NL rookies with 10 home runs, 34 RBIs, a .364 on-base percentage and a .619 slugging percentage. Although he has ascended to the top of his freshman class, Bay downplays his chances to become the first Pirates player ever to be selected as the National League Rookie of the Year.

"A month ago, it was a non-issue. Now it has come to the forefront," said Bay. "I've still got three months of baseball left. At the end of the year, if I am good enough then I'm good enough. But that is just a secondary award and a secondary thought."

For being selected as the NL's top rookie in June, Bay will be given an unspecified specially-designed award from Major League Baseball.

Ed Eagle 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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