08/13/07 6:54 PM ET
Ibanez named AL Player of the Week
Mariners outfielder awarded with honor for third time
By Dawn Klemish / MLB.com
The Mariners left fielder went 8-for-14 during a three-game set at Baltimore from Aug. 7-9, a slugfest that included three home runs and seven RBIs. And that was just part of the week.
The other four days of Ibanez's explosive campaign were good enough to earn the 35-year-old American League Player of the Week honors for the week ending Aug. 12. But he remained modest about his accomplishments.
"I'm just really seeing it and hitting it," he said Saturday. "[I'm] trying to get a good pitch to hit, and put a good swing on it."
Ibanez was on fire over a six-game road swing through Baltimore and Chicago, over which he slugged a Majors-leading 1.111 thanks to seven extra-base hits. During the games, he hit a combined .481 (13-for-27) with two doubles, five homers, 11 RBIs and six runs scored.
He had just six total homers over the last 97 games.
On Friday in a 5-3 loss to the White Sox, Ibanez went 3-for-4 in Chicago with a double. He topped that a day later during a 7-6 win with a 3-for-5 performance that included a first-inning, three-run homer that allowed the Mariners to stay in a tie with the New York Yankees for the American League Wild Card race.
And don't think his efforts have gone unnoticed by the Mariners coaching staff, which is hoping to push the team to its first playoff appearance since 2001, when Seattle won 116 games.
"Raul has been swinging the bat hot, and that's an understatement," said skipper John McLaren. "He's staying inside the ball. He's a professional and, to his credit, he stuck to the game plan. He's showing he's healthy. He's got his stroke back."
Ibanez is hitting .268 this season (107-for-399) with 28 doubles, three triples and 11 homers. With a team-leading 73 RBIs, he's on pace for back-to-back 100-plus RBI seasons. The award is the third of his career, and his second with the Mariners (he also earned the honor with the Royals).
Other players considered for the weekly award presented by Bank of America were Detroit's Magglio Ordonez (.500, 1.000 SLG, 2 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI), Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford (.469, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 8 R) and Melky Cabrera (.440, .800 SLG, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI) of the Yankees. Cabrera was in the midst of a 17-game hitting streak heading into Sunday.
Pitchers considered for the award were Tampa Bay's Edwin Jackson (1-0, 1.20 ERA, 1 SHO, 10 K, 15 IP), Jeff Weaver (2-0, 1.80 ERA, 1 SHO, 11 K, 15 IP) of the Mariners and Andy Pettitte (2-0, 3.46 ERA, 11 K) of the Yankees.
Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.