Matt Kemp and the National League Player of the Week Award are quickly becoming old friends.
On Monday, the Dodgers center fielder was named the recipient of the award for the second consecutive week to begin the 2012 regular season, and combined with his winning of the honor in the last week of the 2011 season, he's earned three in a row, becoming the first player to accomplish the three-peat since the award's inception in 1974.
The only other player to capture consecutive Player of the Week awards to begin a season was Tony Armas, who accomplished the feat in the American League in 1981 while with the Oakland Athletics.
In six games from April 9-15, the right-handed-hitting slugger led all Major Leaguers with a .545 (12-for-22) batting average, four home runs, a 1.182 slugging percentage, .615 on-base percentage and 26 total bases. His seven runs scored tied for first in the NL, and his 12 hits and eight RBIs both tied for second. His torrid start has helped the Dodgers to a Major League-best 9-1 record, marking the club's best start through 10 games since 1981.
Kemp dominated in the Dodgers' weekend series sweep over the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium, going 7-for-10 with four homers and seven RBIs in the three-game set. Kemp went 3-for-4 with a home run on Sunday as the Dodgers edged the Padres, 5-4. On Saturday, last year's runner-up for league MVP hit two homers and drove in four en route to a 6-1 Dodgers victory.
Kemp also notched multihit efforts on Wednesday and Thursday, leading the Dodgers to a three-game sweep of the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. Kemp, 27, already has seven multihit games this season and entered Monday's play leading the Majors in hitting (.487), home runs (6) and RBIs (16).
This is his fourth career weekly award, having won previously for the weeks of May 4, 2008; Sept. 25, 2011; and April 8, 2012.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB and read his MLBlog, Youneverknow. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.