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Greinke, Kinsler AL co-Players of the Week

Greinke, Kinsler AL co-Players of the Week

Kansas City Royals right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke and Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler have had a week to remember.

On Monday, the pair was rewarded for its efforts by being named the American League co-Players of the Week presented by Bank of America for the period ending April 19.

Kinsler shined, hitting .556 (15-for-27) with two home runs, four doubles, a triple, nine runs scored and six RBIs in six games during the week, while also posting a .500 on-base percentage and an .864 slugging mark.  The infielder led the Major Leagues in batting average, hits (15), extra-base hits (seven), and nine runs scored. He also tied for the big league lead with four doubles. 

On April 15, the day baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson's legacy in the game, Kinsler went 6-for-6 while becoming the fourth player in Rangers history to hit for the cycle in the team's 19-6 win against Baltimore. He also became the first Major League player in the modern era to produce a six-hit cycle in a nine-inning game.

"It is more special to do it on Jackie Robinson Day," Kinsler said. "He's the guy who could do everything in the game, hit triples, hit home runs, steal bases, score runs, do everything. It is weird that it's Jackie Robinson Day and I'm playing second base, but it's great it happened that way."

Kinsler won the award for the first time since the week of April 9-15 in 2007.

"Opening Day [2006], my first big league game was pretty special," Kinsler said. "But as far as performance on the field, [April 15] has to top it."

Greinke, 25, went 2-0, with a 0.00 ERA in 14 innings during two starts for the first-place Royals last week. On April 25, he threw his first career complete game shutout while striking out 10 hitters against the Rangers. He compiled 19 strikeouts during the two outings and now leads the American League in that category with 26.

"Zack is going to be one of the premier pitchers in the American League for a long time," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "It's good for us, and it's good for Zack Greinke."

Overall, Greinke is 3-0 and has pitched 20 scoreless innings for the season. He is riding a 34-inning scoreless streak that dates back to last season. The award is Greinke's first of his career.

"That kind of blew me away," Greinke said about Orel Hershiser's record 59-inning scoreless streak. "It's just about impossible to get to 34 nowadays. Fifty-nine, that's impossible. I would have been happy with 20."

Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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