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Bengie Molina of the Texas Rangers named Bank of America Presents the American League Player of the Week
07/19/2010 3:24 PM ET

Texas Rangers catcher Bengie Molina, who will celebrate his 36th birthday on Tuesday, has been named Bank of America Presents the American League Player of the Week for the period ending July 18th. Bank of America, the Official Bank of Major League Baseball, is the presenting sponsor of the American League and National League Player of the Week Awards, which reflect Bank of America's long-standing tradition of promoting and recognizing higher standards of accomplishment.

Molina, who was traded from the San Francisco Giants to the Rangers on July 1st, hit .417 with two home runs and six RBI in his three contests at Fenway Park after the 81st All-Star Game, slugging at a 1.167 clip. On Friday night, the Puerto Rico native went 4-for-4 en route to becoming the first backstop to hit for the cycle since Milwaukee's Chad Moeller accomplished the feat on April 27, 2004. Molina's historic night included a fifth inning grand slam as a part of his cycle, the key blow in an 8-4 win for the A.L. West-leading Rangers. The 13-year veteran is just the eighth player since 1900 to have a grand slam as a part of a cycle, and the eldest of Major League Baseball's three Molina brothers behind the plate became just the fifth player in Rangers history to hit for the cycle. Molina's prolific series helped Texas take three of four from the Boston Red Sox.

Other noteworthy performances by position players included Molina's teammate Nelson Cruz (.529, 6 RBI); second baseman Gordon Beckham (.643, 1 HR, 5 RBI) of the Chicago White Sox; Tampa Bay Rays teammates Reid Brignac (.500, 2 HR, 5 RBI) and Carlos Peña (.462, 2 HR, 6 RBI); shortstop Yunel Escobar (.462, 1 HR, 5 RBI), who excelled in his first week as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays; Oakland Athletics third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff (.385, 1 HR, 7 RBI); and Seattle Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak (.333, 2 HR, 4 RBI). Pitchers who received consideration were Rangers hurler C.J. Wilson (1-0, 6.2 IP, 10 SO) and Rick Porcello (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 SO) of the Detroit Tigers.

The Bank of America Presents the American League Player of the Week, Bengie Molina, is awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, which is available at MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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