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Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays Named the American League Player of the Week05/02/2011 4:18 PM ET
Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending May 1st.
In six games last week, Zobrist batted .440 (11-for-25) with two home runs and a .444 on-base percentage. The switch-hitting slugger paced the Majors with five doubles and 13 RBI, tied for the top spot with eight runs scored and 24 total bases, finished second with a .960 slugging percentage and tied for second with 11 hits. After a travel day on Monday and a Tuesday postponement, the 2009 A.L. All-Star tripled and hit a sacrifice fly as part of a three-RBI night on April 27th to lead the Rays to an 8-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. In the first game of a doubleheader on Thursday, the Eureka, Illinois native had a career-high four hits and eight RBI, including two doubles, a home run and two runs scored in a 15-3 rout of the Twins. His eight RBI broke the Rays' previous single-game mark of seven, set by Carlos Peña in 2007, and were the most in a game since Toronto's Adam Lind on August 31, 2009. The 29-year-old carried his hot bat into the nightcap, going 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, two RBI and three runs scored en route to a 6-1 Rays triumph and series sweep over the Twins. It also marked the fifth consecutive game that Zobrist collected at least two RBI, and his 18 RBI over that same stretch marked the most for an American League player since Reggie Jackson had 18 RBI from June 14-18, 1969. Zobrist's 10 RBI in the doubleheader were the most for a twin bill since St. Louis' Mark Whiten had 13 RBI on September 7, 1993 at Cincinnati. The sixth round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft (by the Houston Astros) finished the series against Minnesota 8-for-14 (.571) with two home runs, three doubles, a triple, six runs scored and 13 RBI, the most RBI in a three-game set in the Majors since 2004. The Dallas Baptist University product carries an eight-game hitting streak into this week along with his American League-leading 25 RBI. In addition, Ben ranks second in the Majors with 18 extra-base hits. This is his second career weekly award (last accomplished on 9/29/2008) and is the third such honor for the Rays this season, joining outfielder Johnny Damon and right-hander James Shields.
Other noteworthy performances from last week included first basemen Adam Lind (.429, 12 H, 4 HR, 10 RBI) and outfielder Jose Bautista (.350, 2 HR, 11 BB) of the Blue Jays; second baseman Robinson Cano (.333, 4 HR, 7 RBI) of the Yankees; Angels ace Jered Weaver (1-0, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 10 K); and Orioles rookie left-hander Zach Britton (2-0, 1.50 ERA, 12.0 IP).
The winner of the American League Player of the Week, Ben Zobrist, will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.