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Lopez named NL Player of the Week
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07/28/2003  6:00 PM ET 
Lopez named NL Player of the Week
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Javy Lopez hit .455 with four homers and 10 RBIs this past week. (Andres Leighton/AP)
2003 Player of the Week winners

MONTREAL -- Javy Lopez was named the National League's Pepsi Player of the Week on Monday afternoon. This is the first such honor for the Braves veteran catcher.

During the past week, Lopez hit .455 (10 for 22) with four homers and 10 RBIs. This season has been one that has helped him resurrect what was once a promising career.

Lopez's 28 homers this year equal his combined total of the past two seasons. His two-homer game against the Marlins on Wednesday gave him his seventh multi-homer game of the season. After the 2002 season in which he hit .233 with a .299 on-base-percentage and a .368 slugging percentage, Lopez committed himself to getting back into better shape and regaining his lost confidence. A strict diet and regimented workout program enabled him to report to camp this year weighing 30 pounds less than he did last year.

"All I know is that I feel very good this season and want this to continue throughout my career," Lopez said. "The most important thing is I feel good about myself."

The offseason perseverance paid off as he is now hitting .324 with a Major League-best 1.136 OPS (on-base-percentage plus slugging percentage). His 70 RBIs rank third on the team and put him on pace for 109 this season. He is also on pace to hit 43 homers this season.

Lopez's best season came in 1998 when he hit .317 with career highs in homers (34) and RBIs (106). A knee injury in 1999 ended his season prematurely and sidetracked his career until this season.

Lopez was elected as the National League's starting catcher for the first time in his career this season. He had been selected to play in the Midsummer Classic two previous times.

Marcus Giles was among the other players nominated for this week's award. Over the past week, the Braves second baseman hit .455 with six doubles and five RBIs.

Mark Bowman 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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