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Andrew Benintendi, Brad Keller named Royals Player/Pitcher of the Month for April

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KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The Kansas City Royals announced this morning that left fielder Andrew Benintendi and right-handed pitcher Brad Keller have been named Royals Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively for April. The awards are determined by a local media vote.

Benintendi led the team last month in batting average (.373), on-base percentage (.419), OPS (.882), hits (25) and RBI (10), and his batting average for the month ranked 2nd in the American League, behind only Xander Bogaerts (.375), who he tied with for 5th in the AL in on-base percentage. Benintendi’s .373 average (25-for-67) marked the 7th-best clip all-time by a Royal in the month of April (min. 65 at-bats) and was the highest since Hunter Dozier hit .375 (30-for-80) in April 2019. He recorded a career-high-tying 11-game hitting streak that spanned from April 16-29, during which he slashed .436/.452/.513 (17-for-39) with a double, a triple, 2 walks, a sacrifice fly, 6 RBI and 4 runs scored. During his hitting streak, Andrew also recorded an RBI in five straight games from April 23-28, matching the longest such streak of his career, done two other times in 2021. Of his 10 RBI in the month, 4 either tied the game or gave the Royals a lead, including his go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 10th on April 24 in Seattle, a game that lasted 12 innings. This is Benintendi’s third Royals Player of the Month Award since joining the club last season.

Keller tied for the 5th-best ERA in the American League in the month of April, posting a 2.19 ERA (6 ER in 24.2 IP) over 4 starts, while also holding opponents to a .165 average (14-for-85) to mark the 3rd lowest clip among AL pitchers. He was especially effective with 2 strikes, holding opponents to a .053 batting average (2-for-38), the 3rd-best mark in the Majors (min. 30 batters faced with 2 strikes). Keller recorded a team-leading 3 quality starts, including 6.0 shutout innings in his season debut on April 9, in which he held the Guardians to just 2 hits and 1 walk. He made his final start of the month on April 28 at the White Sox and pitched 7.0 innings for the second time this season, facing just one over the minimum with the help of a pair of double plays. This is Keller’s seventh Pitcher of the Month Award, one behind Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria (8 each) for the most since the honor was first introduced in 1995.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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