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Pantagraph staff

NORMAL - Neal Cotts' strong season with the Chicago White Sox earned him more recognition Thursday.

Baseball fans voted the former Illinois State pitcher the Setup Man of the Year in the "This Year in Baseball" Awards on MLB.com. The Web site, the official site of Major League Baseball, announced the winners in the 10 different categories on Thursday.

Cotts received 21.7 percent of the vote, 3.5 percent higher than Houston's Dan Wheeler. Cliff Politte, Cotts' White Sox teammate, placed fourth behind the New York Yankees' Tom Gordon.

Cotts, 25, finished the regular season with a 4-0 record and a 1.94 ERA in 69 appearances, helping Chicago win its first World Series since 1917. In 60 1/3 innings, Cotts allowed just 38 hits and one home run while recording 58 strikeouts.

He continued his solid pitching in the postseason, allowing no earned runs in six appearances and earning the victory in Game 2 of the World Series in Chicago.

Cotts' manager, Ozzie Guillen, was voted Manager of the Year. Other award winners included St. Louis' Chris Carpenter (starter), New York's Mariano Rivera (closer) and Robinson Cano (rookie), Boston's David Ortiz (hitter) and Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki (defensive player.)

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