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Jones, Holliday meet again

Jones, Holliday share NL Player of Week

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The level of play around baseball always seems to jump up a notch in September, and 2006 is no different.

In the second-to-last week of the regular season, play was so strong in the National League, one Player of the Week Award did not suffice.

Braves center fielder Andruw Jones and Rockies left fielder Matt Holliday were both honored for their contributions during the week of Sept. 18-24, taking the Bank of America Presents the National League Co-Players of the Week Award.

The co-players of the week went head-to-head in a four-game series this week at Coors Field, with the Rockies taking three of four. The two combined to hit six home runs and bring in 15 RBIs in the series. In the third game, Jones went 4-for-4 with three RBIs. Holliday followed that up in the series finale with a 2-for-4 day with a homer, a triple, and three RBIs.

Jones entered the road trip 17 for his last 99, and finished the seven games with five home runs and 12 RBIs. The Gold Glove center fielder accounted for 24 of the 42 runs the Braves scored last week, via RBI or run scored.

"He's swinging better," Braves manager Bobby Cox said on Friday. "He's on a lot more pitches."

"We'll be glad to see him leave town," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said after the series concluded on Sunday. "He's done a lot of trotting since he's been here. Every time I look up the ball's bouncing off a wall."

Holliday's hits were carrying far as well last week, as he cracked four homers, three doubles and a triple over the last seven games, lifting the Rockies to a 5-2 record. Over the week, Holliday also became the ninth player in franchise history to hit 30 home runs in a season, after hitting one off longtime Braves pitcher John Smoltz on Thursday.

"It's kind of cool," Holliday said after hitting the milestone homer. "It's not that big a deal, but it's more than I've ever hit. It's better than 29.

"It's off of a Hall of Fame pitcher. It'll be a memorable one. It's about as good as I can hit a ball to the opposite field."

Amanda Branam is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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