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Ervin Santana of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Billy Butler of the Kansas City Royals named American League Co-Players of the Week08/01/2011 3:42 PM ET
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim starting pitcher Ervin Santana, who tossed the ninth no-hitter in franchise history on Wednesday against the Cleveland Indians, and designated hitter and first baseman Billy Butler of the Kansas City Royals have been named American League Co-Players of the Week for the period ending July 31st. The announcement was made earlier this afternoon on MLB Network.
Santana went the distance in the 105-pitch outing, striking out a season-high 10 and walking one to lead the Angels over the Indians, 3-1, in the first no-hitter thrown at Progressive Field since its inception in 1994 and just the fourth in the divisional era (since 1969) that did not result in a shutout. The Dominican Republic native's no-hit performance was the first for the Halos since Mark Langston and Mike Witt combined to hold the Seattle Mariners hitless on April 11, 1990, and it is the first solo effort since Witt's perfect game against the Texas Rangers on September 30, 1984. In addition to Witt, the right-hander joins Bo Belinsky, Clyde Wright and Nolan Ryan (four times) as the only Angels to throw individual no-hitters in the club's 50-year history. The 28-year-old's gem represents the third no-hitter this season, joining Minnesota Twins left-hander and fellow countryman Francisco Liriano (May 3rd at the Chicago White Sox) and Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander (May 7th at the Toronto Blue Jays). This is Ervin's first career A.L. Player of the Week honor.
Butler batted .406 (13-for-32) with two doubles, five home runs and 12 RBI in seven games last week en route to winning his third career weekly award (last accomplished on September 14, 2009). The 14th overall pick in the 2004 First-Year Player draft paced the Majors in homers, RBI and total bases (30), and finished tops in the A.L. in hits. In a slugfest at Fenway Park on Tuesday, Butler finished a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with three RBI in a losing effort as the Red Sox outlasted the Royals, 12-9. In the series finale against Boston two days later, Butler's bat proved to be the difference as he launched a three-run homer to fuel the Royals to a 4-3 victory. The Florida native continued his recent power surge the next evening in Cleveland with a pair of home runs to lead the Royals over the Tribe, 12-0. It was the fifth multi-homer game of his five-year career and his first since September 29, 2009 as the 25-year-old established a new career best with home runs in four consecutive games.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Red Sox infielders Dustin Pedroia (.433, 2 HR, 7 RBI) and Adrian Gonzalez (.519, 14 H, 8 RBI), and Rangers left-hander Derek Holland (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 15.0 IP, SHO at Toronto on July 30th).
The co-winners of the American League Player of the Week, Ervin Santana and Billy Butler, will each 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.