Barnes, Melancon named April’s top relievers

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Red Sox right-hander Matt Barnes and Padres right-hander Mark Melancon have been named MLB’s Relievers of the Month for April.

Barnes won AL honors after recording a 2.57 ERA with 25 strikeouts, three walks and only five hits allowed in 14 innings. Barnes struck out at least one batter in each of his 13 appearances and went 6-for-6 in save chances for Boston.

Barnes became the seventh pitcher in MLB history to record at least 25 strikeouts while permitting no more than five hits or three walks in a calendar month, joining Chad Green (September 2019), Corey Knebel (September 2018), Craig Kimbrel (May 2017), Michael Feliz (May 2016), Robb Nen (July 2000) and Armando Benitez (August 2000).

Melancon, meanwhile, converted all nine of his save chances for the Padres in April and finished the month with a 0.69 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 13 innings, receiving NL honors for his efforts. The veteran righty yielded just four hits and one walk, holding hitters to a .095 average and a .116 on-base percentage.

Others receiving votes for the AL Reliever of the Month Award included the Indians’ Emmanuel Clase and James Karinchak, the Royals’ Josh Staumont, the Mariners’ Kendall Graveman, the Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman and the Orioles’ César Valdez.

The Pirates’ Richard Rodríguez, the Brewers’ J.P. Feyereisen and Josh Hader, the Reds’ Tejay Antone and the Cubs’ Kimbrel received votes for the NL Reliever of the Month Award.

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