DURHAM, N.C.- With three complete games among his five starts in the month of July, RHP Mark Hamburger of the St. Paul Saints left little doubt as to who the honoree for Rawlings American Association Pitcher of the Month should be. Hamburger, already a three-time selection for Pointstreak American Association Pitcher of the Week and an American Association All-Star, adds to his resume by winning July’s Rawlings Pitcher of the Month award.
Hamburger was dominant over the course of the month. He worked 43 innings across five starts, posting a 4-1 record with just eight earned runs allowed, striking out 27 and walking a mere two batters.
The St. Paul native, in his second stint with the Saints, began his month on July 4th with an Independence Day complete game against the Joplin Blasters. In a 9-2 Saints win, Hamburger allowed two runs (only one earned) on eight hits. He struck out four in the outing without walking a batter.
He returned to the mound on July 9, twirling his second straight complete game. In a 3-1 win over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on the road, Hamburger allowed just one run on seven hits and a walk. He struck out seven in the game. His efforts earned him the Pointstreak Pitcher of the Week award for the week ending July 10th.
In eight innings on July 15, Hamburger allowed four runs on eight hits, striking out eight in a 10-4 win over the RedHawks at home.
Hamburger recorded another complete game shutout victory on July 25 against the Sioux City Explorers. He scattered three hits, walking none and striking out four in a 16-0 Saints win. He returned to the mound and took a tough-luck loss at the Lincoln Saltdogs on July 30. In eight innings, Hamburger allowed just two earned runs on six hits, walking one and striking out four. Lincoln won the game 3-2. Even with the defeat, Hamburger was named the Pointstreak Pitcher of the Week for the week ending July 31.
The loss was Hamburger’s first of the season, dropping his record to 11-1 with a 2.49 ERA. In 14 starts, he has struck out 64 and walked only 12 in 112 innings. Hamburger is a former Major Leaguer, making five appearances in 2011 with the Texas Rangers. The St. Paul native, undrafted in 2007, signed with the Minnesota Twins before being traded to the Rangers in 2008. He ascended through the system, reaching the Major Leagues in three years. He spent the entirety of 2012 in Class AAA, splitting the year between the Rangers, Houston Astros and San Diego Padres affiliates. Hamburger’s first foray into independent baseball came in 2013, when he was 6-8 with a 3.26 ERA for the Saints. That earned Hamburger a second stint in the Twins’ system for 2014 and 2015, where he pitched as high as Class AAA Rochester.
Hamburger and the Saints return from the All-Star break to battle the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in a home series beginning on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Central time. The entire series can be seen live and for free at www.americanassociationbaseball.tv.
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