Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, who became just the 16th player in Major League history to hit four homers in a game on Tuesday, has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending May 13th. This is Josh’s second career weekly honor (last on 6/24/2010). The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Hamilton turned in one of the greatest weeks of all-time, highlighted by Tuesday’s performance, in which he went 5-for-5 at the plate with four home runs, a double, eight RBI and an A.L.-record 18 total bases in a 10-3 Rangers’ victory at Oriole Park at Camden ards. The four-homer performance was a first for the Rangers and it was the Majors’ first four-home run game since Toronto’s Carlos Delgado on September 25, 2003. It marked the 30-year-old’s sixth career multi-homer game, and the first time that he homered more than twice in a game. Hamilton’s eight RBI also shattered his previous career best of five (three times), which he last accomplished in an April 17th tilt against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Along with his four homers, the left-handed hitting slugger added a fifth-inning double to give him 18 total bases on the night, eclipsing the previous league mark of 16 (last by Delgado on 9/25/2003). It was the most total bases tallied in a single game throughout baseball since Shawn Green of the Los Angeles Dodgers notched 19 (1B, 2B, 4 HR) against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 23, 2002. Since 1962, only three other players in addition to Green and Hamilton have racked up five extra-base hits in a game – the Indians’ Kelly Shoppach (3 2B, 2 HR on 7/30/2008); the Dodgers’ Steve Garvey (3 2B, 2 HR on 8/28/1977) and the Pirates’ Willie Stargell (3 2B, 2 HR on 8/1/1970). The first overall pick in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft also homered in his final at-bat the previous night to become the first player since Ken Griffey, Jr. on July 1-2, 1998 to collect extra-base hits in six straight at-bats and the first with five homers in six at-bats since Green on May 23-24, 2002. On Friday, Hamilton notched his second multi-homer game of the week, going 3-for-4 with a pair of solo home runs in a 10-3 win over the visiting Angels. In a loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, Hamilton homered for the third consecutive game, marking the second time this season he has accomplished the feat. According to Elias, Hamilton became the third player in Major League history to collect nine home runs and 15 RBI over a six-game stretch, joining Green (nine & 17; May 21-26, 2002) and Washington’s Frank Howard (10 & 17; May 12-18, 1968). On Sunday night, his three-RBI effort led the way to a 13-6 victory for the Rangers in the rubber match of their three-game set with the Halos. The 2010 A.L. Most Valuable Player wrapped up the week with a .467 (14-for-30) batting average, two doubles, nine homers, 18 RBI and 10 runs scored in seven games. The six-year veteran finished tops in the Majors in home runs, RBI, slugging percentage (1.433) and total bases (43) this week, and ranked tied for first in runs scored and hits. The four-time All-Star is off to an outstanding start to the 2012 season, leading the Majors with a .402 batting average, 18 home runs and 44 RBI.