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Manny named Player of the Week
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07/28/2003  6:00 PM ET 
Manny named Player of the Week
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Manny Ramirez hit .542 last week with three home runs and seven RBIs. (Brian Kersey/AP)
2003 Player of the Week winners

BOSTON -- Manny Ramirez's latest batch of hitting heroics have landed the star left fielder American League Player of the Week honors.

The cleanup man for the Red Sox hit .542 last week, cranking out 13 hits in 24 at-bats. Over that period, which ended July 27, Ramirez led the AL with a .633 on-base percentage and a 1.083 slugging percentage.

Included in Ramirez's hitting binge were three homers, four doubles, seven RBIs and eight runs.

Ramirez couldn't have gotten hot at a better time. The Red Sox are in a heated chase of the Yankees for the lead in the AL East, and Ramirez's explosive week led the team to five wins in seven games.

It was Ramirez capping the fruitful week not with his bat, but with his glove. Ramirez made a brilliant diving catch of a Jorge Posada flyball down the line to record the last out in Boston's come-from-behind 6-4 victory over the Yankees Sunday night.

"I just went for it," Ramirez said. "Oh man, that's unbelievable. I think it's one of the best catches I've made in my career and I'm happy about it."

The Sox won two out of three against New York to close to 1 1/2 games back in the division.

Ramirez urged his teammates that the strong showing against the Yankees is no reason to take the pedal off the medal.

"We have to keep going and see what happens," Ramirez said. "It's a long season. We have to keep going and forget how many games back we are. We needed this (series) win to show we can compete against them."

Few hitters are as routinely dominant on a yearly basis as Ramirez.

Consider that he is in the top 10 in nearly every offensive category.

The defending AL batting champion, Ramirez is hitting .326, placing him in a tie for second in the league. His 25 homers put him in a tie for fifth. He is sixth in RBI with 79, tied for third in runs with 82, seventh in hits with 135, sixth in total bases, fifth in walks, second in on-base-percentage (.423) and second in slugging percentage (.595).

As a sign of the type of respect Ramirez's bat carries around the league, he leads with 23 intentional walks.

Ramirez's hits are usually big, evidenced by the fact he's third in the league with a .376 average with runners in scoring position.

And overshadowed by all those gaudy offensive numbers is the way Ramirez has improved his defense this season. He is tied for second in the AL with eight outfield assists.

If the Red Sox qualify for the postseason for the first time since 1999, Ramirez's name figures to pop up in many MVP discussions.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.





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