One hits in the middle of the lineup of a team looking to defend a title. The other hits in the middle of the lineup of a team in youth-movement mode that's played much better of late. What the Yankees' Mark Teixeira and the Astros' Hunter Pence have in common, other than hitting third in their respective lineups, is that both were named their leagues' Players of the Week for the period ending September 5.
Teixeira got on base in all seven games last week and helped the Yankees win six of them, as New York stayed on top of the American League East standings. The first baseman hit .476 (10-for-21) to lead the league, while also topping the circuit with eight RBIs and a .633 on-base percentage for the week. His three doubles, 19 total bases and .905 slugging percentage tied for the league lead. He had 10 hits, seven walks and two homers as well.
Teixeira had two three-hit games. With his home run on Aug. 31 against the A's, he has now reached the 30-homer plateau for consecutive season. He currently leads the AL with 101 runs scored, while standing fourth in walks (80) and fifth in homers (30) and RBIs (99). Teixeira has received five Player of the Week awards, the last one coming in Aug. 2007.
Pence has been at the forefront of a resurgence in Houston, as the Astros have gone 19-14 since Aug. 1 to move into third place in the NL Central. Pence tied for the league lead with nine RBIs over the past week while hitting an even .500 (11-for-22). He ranked second in slugging (.909), third in total bases (20) and fourth in on-base percentage (.542).
Pence hit two homers, a double and a triple in six games, recording multi-hit games five times. He drove in more than one run three times. He led the Astros to a sweep over the Cardinals with a homer and three RBIs on Sept. 1. Pence is hitting .290 with 22 homers and 80 RBIs for the year and is leading the Astros with 44 multi-hit games. This marks the second career weekly award for Pence (previous May 14-20, 2007).
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.