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Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers and Erick Aybar of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim named American League Co-players of the Week09/19/2011 3:48 PM ET
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim shortstop Erick Aybar have been named American League Co-Players of the Week for the period ending September 18th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
In two starts last week, Verlander went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, five walks and 12 strikeouts in a league-leading 15.0 innings pitched to capture his third A.L. Player of the Week Award this season (also May 8th and June 19th) and the fifth of his career. The right-hander improved to 14-1 with a 2.54 ERA in 15 starts against A.L. Central division opponents in 2011 with a 5-0 blanking of the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday. The Virginia native scattered six hits, walked two and struck out six in 7.0 shutout innings to boost Detroit to their largest division lead (12.5 games) since their 1984 World Championship campaign. In his next turn against Oakland on Sunday, the Old Dominion product allowed three hits, walked three and struck out six over 8.0 shutout innings as the Tigers defeated the Athletics 3-0. Verlander has won 12 consecutive starts dating back to July 21st, the longest streak in baseball since Minnesota's Johan Santana won 12 straight in 2004. The four-time All-Star moved to 24-5 on the season, becoming the first 24-game winner since Arizona's Randy Johnson in 2002 and notching the most wins in the A.L. since Oakland's Bob Welch won 27 in 1990. On the season, the 28-yearold leads the Majors in wins, starts (33), innings pitched (244.0), strikeouts (244), ERA (2.29) and winning percentage (.828).
In six games last week, Aybar batted .455 (10-for-22) with four doubles, three homers, five RBI and eight runs scored to win his first career weekly honor. Among A.L. leaders, the Dominican Republic native finished tied for first in runs scored and total bases (23), was second in slugging percentage (1.045) and was tied for second in doubles and homers. After going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored in a 6-3 Angels win over Oakland on Tuesday, the 27-year-old went a perfect 4-for-4 with a walk, two doubles, two homers, four RBI and five runs scored in an 11-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday. It was Aybar's first career multi-homer game and his five runs scored were the most in a single game for the Halos since Tim Salmon scored five runs on April 12, 1998 in Cleveland.
In another noteworthy performance last week, New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera notched the 600th and 601st saves of his career to join Trevor Hoffman as the only hurlers to reach the 600-save plateau. Rivera tied Hoffman atop baseball's all-time saves list when he closed out the Yankees' 7-6 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on September 17th at the Rogers Centre.
The co-winners of the American League Player of the Week, Justin Verlander and Erick Aybar, 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.