Soriano named NL Player of the Week

Soriano named NL Player of the Week

Cubs slugger Alfonso Soriano helped his team sweep their cross-town rivals, the White Sox, this past weekend by drilling home runs in three straight games. For his outstanding contributions at the plate, the left fielder has been recognized as the Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week for June 18-24.

The 31-year-old Dominican Republic native finished second among all NL players with a .480 batting average. Soriano scored six runs, collected five RBIs and posted a .519 on-base percentage in the Cubs' six-game road trip.

Soriano drilled four home runs last week and was able to witness another fellow slugger Sammy Sosa's 600th career homer.

"I've hit 200-something in six years," Soriano said. "I think that's a lot of homers. I can't imagine getting 400, 500, that's a lot of homers. Sammy Sosa hit 600 homers, that's a lot, especially in this game."

Soriano still has many fruitful years left in him, and who knows how many more home runs are yet to come.

The four he blasted last week improved his career home run mark to 223. For last week, Soriano led the NL with his quartet of homers as well as his slugging percentage, which was a whopping 1.080. If that wasn't enough, he also bettered all of his NL counterparts with 27 total bases. He also tied for first with his 12 hits.

The Cubs finished the week by going 4-2 on the road, and how sweet it must have been for Soriano to homer three times over the White Sox. He led off Friday and Saturday's game with home runs.

"We had a very good weekend here," Soriano said.

Soriano, a five-time All-Star, ranks fourth on the all-time list in leadoff home runs with 37.

Soriano had tough competition, as he beat out a string of talented players such as the Mets pitchers Orlando Hernandez (0-0, 0.00 ERA, seven strikeouts) and John Maine (2-0, 1.88 ERA, 10 strikeouts); Ryan Howard (.440, two homers, eight RBIs) of the Phillies; the Nationals' Christian Guzman (.417, one homer, six RBIs); a pair of Reds in Ken Griffey Jr. (.320, three homers, three RBIs) and Aaron Harang (1-0, 0.00 ERA, seven strikeouts); Mark Loretta (.440, five doubles, six RBIs) and Hunter Pence (.429, three homers, seven RBIs) of the Astros; a trio of Brewers in Ryan Braun (.429, one homer, seven RBIs), Corey Hart (.423, three homers, seven RBIs) and Ben Sheets (1-0, 2.00 ERA, 11 strikeouts); the Cardinals' Chris Duncan (.438, two home runs, seven RBIs) and Aaron Miles (.500, 12 hits, four runs); the Diamondbacks' Eric Byrnes (.414, two home runs, seven RBIs); Troy Tulowitzki (.350, three homers, four RBIs) of the Rockies; the Dodgers' Andre Ethier (.467, one home run, two RBIs) and Luis Gonzalez (.421, two home runs, eight RBIs); and the Padres' Khalil Greene (.417, three home runs, five RBIs) and Chris Young (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 11 strikeouts).

Bank of America, who sponsors both the NL and American League Player of the Week Awards, will honor Soriano's accomplishment with a Tourneau luxury timepiece.

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