05/03/2004 5:45 PM ET
Sierra named AL Player of Week
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
|Ruben Sierra hit .467 with two home runs, three doubles and 11 RBIs in six games last week. (Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK -- The Yankees' six-game winning streak last week was fueled by several outstanding performances. One of those belonged to Ruben Sierra, who was rewarded with American Player of the Week honors Monday.
Sierra batted .467 (7-for-15) with two home runs and three doubles in six games, leading the league with 11 RBIs. Sierra also led all qualifiers with a 1.067 slugging percentage last week, and he posted a .500 on-base percentage.
"Since his return, he's been a model citizen for me," said manager Joe Torre. "He's there when we need him, whether he's going to play or pinch-hit. He knows what he's doing."
Sierra didn't simply put up numbers last week, he made his hits count when the Yankees needed them the most.
Tuesday night, Sierra's pinch-hit, two-run double highlighted the Yankees' six-run eighth inning in a 10-8 comeback victory over Oakland. The win snapped the Yankees' four-game losing skid, sparking a six-game winning streak in the process.
"That's what we've been waiting for," Sierra said on Tuesday. "To come through in that situation was big. Maybe we can turn things around here, because we've been losing too many games."
Saturday, Sierra equaled his career highs with two home runs and seven RBIs in New York's 12-4 win over Kansas City, as he drilled a three-run homer and a grand slam, the seventh of his career.
"I've been feeling good since last week. I've been hitting the ball hard," Sierra said. "Right now it looks like everybody is coming around. It's a good sign."
The two homers gave Sierra 287 in his career, tying him with Bobby Bonilla for fifth place on the all-time list among switch-hitters. Only Mickey Mantle (536), Eddie Murray (504), Chili Davis (350), and Reggie Smith (314) have hit more.
This is the second weekly award of Sierra's career, as he won weekly honors with the Texas Rangers in Sept. 1991.
"Whatever they need me for, I have to be ready," Sierra said. "I feel good, I can still run and do some things to help the team, so I have to stay as sharp as I can to help the team in any way."
Other candidates for the weekly award were Boston's Jason Varitek (.500, 3 HR, 8 RBIs), Chicago's Juan Uribe (ML-best .522, 2 HR, 4 RBIs), Cleveland's Matt Lawton (.476, 4 RBIs), Oakland's Erubiel Durazo (.360, 3 HR, 9 RBIs) and Toronto's Frank Catalanotto (.458, 3 RBIs).
Pitchers appearing on this week's ballot included Anaheim's John Lackey (2-0, 2.63 ERA), Toronto's Ted Lilly (2-0, 3.68, 1 CG), and Texas' R.A. Dickey (2-0, 1.80) and Francisco Cordero (ML-high 5 saves).
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.