Kansas City Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain and Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel have been named the American League Co-Players of the Week for the period ending July 19th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Cain batted .412 (7-for-17) with three runs scored, two doubles, two home runs, three RBI and one stolen base, while Keuchel won his lone start, logging 13 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings. This marks Cain's first career weekly honor and Keuchel's second, last winning with the Astros on May 25, 2014. Among AL leaders, Lorenzo finished the week first in total bases (15), tied for first in home runs and hits, tied for second in doubles, tied for sixth in runs scored and seventh in slugging percentage (.882). Dallas completed the period with the highest strikeout total and was tied for first in ERA and wins. The crafty lefty yielded only two hits and did not surrender a walk.
On Saturday, Cain capped a three-hit afternoon with a game-winning home run in the 13th inning, his ninth round-tripper of the season. Since July 8th, the first-time All-Star is riding an eight-game hitting streak, batting .455 (15-for-33) with nine runs scored, four doubles, four home runs and nine RBI. The Valdosta, Georgia native, who was the only All-Star hitter to record two hits in the 2015 Midsummer Classic, is pacing his league counterparts in on-base percentage (.509), slugging percentage (.843) and OPS (1.352), while he is tied for first in runs scored (13), hits (23) and doubles (6) during the month of July.
Houston's ace was nearly unhittable in his only start of the period. On Sunday against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park, the AL All-Star starter struck out a career-high 13, retired the final 18 batters he faced and allowed just three balls out of the infield. The Tulsa, Oklahoma native is the first Astros pitcher to strike out 13 in a game since Wandy Rodriguez had 13 strikeouts on August 29, 2011 against the San Diego Padres. The two-time 2015 AL Pitcher of the Month (April & May) recorded his third double-digit strikeout game of the 2015 season. Entering play today, Keuchel, who allowed one unearned run in two innings in his All-Star debut, leads the AL in wins (12), ERA (2.12) and innings pitched (144.1).
Other noteworthy performances last week included Michael Brantley (.364, 2 2B, 5 RBI, .818 SLG) of the Cleveland Indians; Kole Calhoun (.571, 2 HR, .625 OBP, 1.571 SLG) and Garrett Richards (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 CG, 1 SHO) of the Los Angeles Angels; All-Star Jose Iglesias (.500, 5 R, .545 OBP, .900 SLG) of the Detroit Tigers; and Chris Tillman (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 8 SO, 1 H) of the Baltimore Orioles.
In recognition of their American League Co-Players of the Week Awards, Lorenzo Cain and Dallas Keuchel will each be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.