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Blake Snell wins NL Cy Young Award, 7th pitcher to take home prize in both leagues

NEW YORK (AP) — Blake Snell won the National League Cy Young Award on Wednesday after leading the majors in ERA for the San Diego Padres, becoming the seventh pitcher to earn baseball’s top pitching prize in both leagues.

The free-agent lefty received 28 of 30 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. San Francisco Giants right-hander Logan Webb finished second and Zac Gallen of the NL champion Arizona Diamondbacks was third.

Snell, the American League Cy Young Award recipient in 2018 with Tampa Bay, joined Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay and Max Scherzer as pitchers to win in both leagues.

Shaking off a dreadful start to the season, Snell went 14-9 with a 2.25 ERA and 234 strikeouts in 180 innings over 32 outings for a disappointing Padres team that finished 82-80 despite baseball’s third-highest payroll.

He was 1-6 with a 5.40 ERA after losing to Boston on May 19, then dominated the rest of the way despite topping the majors with 99 walks this year. Harnessing his 95-96 mph heater and overpowering curve, Snell won eight of his last nine decisions and did not allow a run in five of his final six starts — including the last three.

Snell gave up only 5.75 hits per nine innings, by far the best mark in the majors. All those stingy numbers while he was on the mound were more than enough to beat out Webb (11-13, 3.25 ERA) and Gallen (17-9, 3.47), who each logged at least 210 innings. Both got one first-place vote.

Snell, who turns 31 next month, became a free agent after the World Series and rejected a $20,325,000 qualifying offer from the Padres on Tuesday to pursue a more lucrative contract.

The four previous San Diego pitchers to win the Cy Young Award were Randy Jones (1976), Perry (1978), reliever Mark Davis (1989) and Jake Peavy (2007).

The AL Cy Young was to be announced later Wednesday evening.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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