Greg Holland wins monthly MLB relief award for second time

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Right-hander Greg Holland, who set a Royals record with 47 saves this season, was named the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month for September, the second time this season he has been so honored.

Holland also won the award, which recognizes the game’s top relief pitcher, in July, making him only the fifth pitcher to win it multiple times in a single season since the inception of the award in 2005.

Holland joins Joakim Soria as the only Royals to be named MLB Delivery Man of the Month. Soria won the award in

September 2008 and September 2009.

Holland, 27, led the majors with 11 saves in September, converting all but one of his 12 opportunities. During September he tossed 15 innings and surrendered one run on seven hits with four walks and 20 strikeouts while holding opposing hitters to a .137 batting average. He struck out multiple batters in seven of his 15 appearances, highlighted by a critical performance Sept. 11 at Cleveland. Entering the game with no outs and runners on first and second in the ninth inning, Holland fanned each of his three batters faced to preserve a 6-2 win over the Indians.

With his 46th save Sept. 26 against the White Sox, Holland surpassed the previous Royals record of 45 shared by Dan Quisenberry (1983) and FOX Sports Kansas City’s Jeff Montgomery (1993). Holland earned save No. 47 in the season finale Sept. 29 at Chicago. He struck out two batters in that game to tie Jim York (1971) for the most strikeouts (103) by a Royals reliever in a single season. The 2013 A.L. All-Star, who finished the season 2-1 with a 1.21 ERA, led AL relievers in strikeouts and ranked second in saves behind Baltimore’s Jim Johnson (50).