Powerful week nets Berkman NL honor

Powerful week nets Berkman NL honor

After struggling in the season's first two weeks, Lance Berkman provided the offense the Cardinals expected of him when they signed him this offseason.

The 35-year-old Berkman led the Majors in home runs, RBIs and slugging percentage this past week, and was named the National League Player of the Week on Monday by Major League Baseball.

The Cardinals right fielder was one of the chief components in St. Louis' 5-2 record this past week, batting .417 (10-for-24) with six homers, 12 RBIs and a 1.167 slugging percentage. That power explosion came after the switch-hitter went homerless with only a single RBI in his first eight games.

That changed on April 11, when Berkman hit two homers against the D-backs. Two days later, Berkman hit his second career grand slam and drove in five runs in a 15-5 St. Louis win.

On Friday, Berkman had his second multihomer game of the week when he homered in back-to-back at-bats in the second and fourth innings against the Dodgers. Along with Berkman, Albert Pujols also homered in consecutive at-bats in the same game -- in the fifth and seventh innings -- as the duo became the first pair of Cardinals players in franchise history to each go deep in back-to-back at-bats in the same game.

St. Louis was well represented on this week's list of NL Player of the Week nominees, as five other Cardinals also were considered:

• Left fielder Matt Holliday hit .407 with six RBIs.

• Colby Rasmus hit .371 with a homer and five doubles.

• David Freese hit .462 with a homer and six RBIs.

• Kyle McClellan went 2-0, posting a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings.

• Pujols hit .344 with three homers, six RBIs and 10 runs scored.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.