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Twice as nice: Hamilton AL's best for May

Twice as nice: Hamilton AL's best for May

Twice as nice: Hamilton AL's best for May
In 2008, Josh Hamilton became the first American Leaguer to win the Player of the Month Award in back-to-back months to start a season. Four years later, he's done it again.

The Rangers outfielder on Sunday was named the AL's Player of the Month for May, giving him two straight monthly honors and five total in his six-season career.

"Can I shut it down for the rest of the year?" Hamilton joked. "That's awesome. I don't play to receive awards, but it always makes you feel good when you're recognized for going out and doing the best you can, and doing well."

Hamilton had a four-homer game on May 8, when he went 5-for-5 with a double, eight RBIs and 18 total bases in a 10-3 win at Baltimore, but he's been hitting on another level for the entire season. Hamilton hit safely in his first 13 games of May, part of a season-best 16-game streak for him.

In 25 games in May, Hamilton batted .344 (33-for-96) with six doubles, 12 home runs, 32 RBIs and 19 runs scored. He finished first in the AL in homers, RBIs, slugging percentage (.781) and total bases (75). He also tied for first in extra-base hits (18), was fourth in batting average and seventh in on-base percentage (.405). He also set a club homer record for the month.

On the season, Hamilton is the only Major Leaguer to reach 20 home runs so far, with 21, and the only one to crack 50 RBIs, with 57. His .358 average is second to Paul Konerko (.366) in the AL. Hamilton is just the second player in the Majors since 2002 to reach at least 57 RBIs through his team's first 51 games, joining Albert Pujols, who drove in 64 for the 2006 Cardinals.

Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. MLB.com reporter T.R. Sullivan contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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