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09/30/2003 12:39 PM ET 
Philadelphia's Jim Thome and Chicago's Mark Prior named NL Pepsi Player and Pitcher of the Month for September

Jim Thome of the Philadelphia Phillies, who recorded 10 home runs and 30 RBI, and Mark Prior of the Chicago Cubs, who was 5-1 with a 2.27 ERA, were named National League Pepsi Player and Pitcher of the Month for September, respectively.

Prior, who was also named NL Pepsi Pitcher of the Month for August 2003, won five of his six September starts, pitching 43.2 innings with 60 strikeouts. Since August 1, Prior was 10-1 in 11 starts with a 1.52 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 82.2 innings while leading the Cubs to the NL Central title. Prior finished his first full season in the Majors 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 30 starts.

Thome, who finished the season with a NL-leading 47 home runs, was 24-for-85 in 25 games with a slugging percentage of .694 and an on-base percentage of .402. His 10 homers, 30 RBI and 24 runs in the month led all Senior Circuit hitters. Thome finished his first season in the NL with a .266 average, 131 RBI and 111 runs scored.

Other players nominated were: Atlanta's Javier Lopez (.324, 8 HR, 20 RBI); Milwaukee's Richie Sexson (.319, 9 HR, 23 RBI); Houston's Richard Hidalgo (.341, 6 HR, 17 RBI); Colorado's Todd Helton (league-leading .377 average, 6 HR, 11 RBI); and Florida's Derrek Lee (.341, 5 HR, 19 RBI).

Wilson Alvarez of the Dodgers, who was 4-0 with a League-best 0.77 ERA in September was second in the pitchers' voting. Also receiving votes were Alvarez's teammate Eric Gagne (0.00 ERA, 9 SV); Houston's Roy Oswalt (4-0, 2.00 ERA); Joe Borowski (1-0, 0.77 ERA, NL-high 10 SV) and Kerry Wood (3-1, 1.00 ERA) of the Cubs; Florida's Josh Beckett (3-1, 2.08 ERA); and Rheal Cormier (4-0, 2.45 ERA) of the Phillies.

Thome and Prior will each receive a specially designed trophy for being named National League Pepsi Player and Pitcher of the Month.

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