Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis and Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander have been named the American League Co-Players of the Week for the period ending September 30th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Davis batted .423 (11-for-26) with one double, five home runs, 10 RBI and eight runs scored in seven games to capture his first career weekly honor. Among Major League leaders for the week, the left-handed-hitting Davis led all players in homers, RBI and total bases (27). In addition, the 26-year-old led the A.L. in slugging percentage (1.038) and finishing tied for second in runs scored. On Wednesday, the Longview, Texas native went 2-for-4 with a pair of homers and five RBI as Baltimore defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 12-2, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Davis’ multi-homer effort was his second of the season, with his last coming on August 24th when he blasted three homers against the Jays. In Friday’s opener against the Red Sox, Davis launched a two-run homer as part of a six-run first inning as the Orioles topped the Red Sox, 9-1, in Baltimore. His first-inning homer tied the Orioles’ 1996 mark for most homers in a season at Camden Yards. The next night, the fifth round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft (by Texas) went 2-for-3 with a homer, two RBI and two runs scored as Baltimore edged Boston, 4-3. The two-run shot was the 30th of the season for Davis, who joined teammate Adam Jones to become the fifth pair of teammates (and sixth occurrence) in Club history to each hit at least 30 homers in a season. On Sunday, the five-year veteran homered and scored two runs to help lead Baltimore to a 6-3 victory, clinching their first Postseason berth since 1997.
Verlander went 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA and 16 strikeouts over 15.0 innings to grab his sixth career A.L. Player of the Week honor. The Virginia native has strung together a series of outstanding performances as the Tigers aim for their second consecutive trip to the Postseason. On Monday against the Kansas City Royals, the 29-year-old allowed two earned runs and struck out eight over 8.0 innings as Detroit won, 6-2, at Comerica Park. The 114-pitch outing marked the 15th time this season that Verlander has gone at least 8.0 innings in a start. On Saturday, the 2011 A.L. Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner allowed one run (unearned) on four hits with eight strikeouts to lead Detroit to a 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Heading into play today, Verlander leads the A.L. in innings pitched (238.1), strikeouts (239) and complete games (6), ranks second in ERA (2.64) and is tied for fourth in wins (17).
Other outstanding performances last week included Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (.310, 2 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBI) and infielder/outfielder Brandon Moss (.385, 4 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI); first baseman Prince Fielder (.346, 3 HR, 6 RBI) and starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (shutout vs. Kansas City on September 25th) of the Tigers; and outfielder Torii Hunter (.480, 12 H, 7 RBI) of the Angels.
The American League Co-Players of the Week, Chris Davis and Justin Verlander, will each be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.