Johan Santana wins Cy Young unanimously

Minnesota Twins lefthander Johan Santana was a unanimous selection of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America as the American League Cy Young Award winner.

Santana, 25, received all 28 first-place votes cast by two writers from each AL city for a perfect score of 140 points, based on a 5-3-1 tabulation system. The only other pitcher named to every ballot was Boston Red Sox righthander Curt Schilling, who was second on 27 ballots and third on one for 82 points.

Santana, the first native of Venezuela honored, led the league in ERA (2.61), strikeouts (265) and lowest opponents’ batting average (.192) while compiling a 20-6 record. He had a major-league-high 13-game winning streak from July 17 through Sept. 24. Santana was the AL Pitcher of the Month for July, August and September and over that period was 14-2 with a 1.39 ERA in 129 1/3 innings.

Schilling, 38 later this week, led the majors in victories with a 21-6 record and had a 3.26 ERA. New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera (4-2, 1.94 ERA), who led the majors in saves with 53, finished third with 27 points. In all, six pitchers received votes.

It was the seventh unanimous election in AL voting, including two each for Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez. There have been 11 unanimous choices in National League balloting, including three for Sandy Koufax and two for Greg Maddux. Santana became the third Twins pitcher honored, joining Jim Perry (1970) and Frank Viola (1988).

Schilling ran second for the third time, equaling the most runner-up finishes in Cy Young balloting of Warren Spahn and Randy Johnson. Schilling was also second in the NL in 2001 and ’02 to Johnson, then his Arizona teammate. Spahn, the 1957 winner for the Milwaukee Braves, was second in 1958, ’60 and ’61 when only one award was given annually. Johnson, a five-time winner, was second in the AL with Seattle in 1993 and ’97 and in this year’s NL election, which was announced Tuesday.

The vote:

2004 AL Cy Young

JOHAN SANTANAMinnesota Twins28140
CURT SCHILLINGBoston Red Sox27182
MARIANO RIVERANew York Yankees12427
JOE NATHANMinnesota Twins11