Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending April 28th. The announcement was made earlier today on the MLB Network. Donaldson batted .545 (12-for-22) with seven doubles, 10 RBI, seven walks, four runs scored and a stolen base over seven games to notch his first career weekly honor. Among Major League hitters, Donaldson led the way in doubles and on-base percentage (.633), was tied for first in batting average, RBI and walks, and was tied for second in hits. The 27-year-old was fourth in the A.L. in slugging percentage(.864) and was tied for fourth in the league in total bases (19).
Donaldson helped the A's jump out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning of Monday's contest against the Boston Red Sox with a double and a run scored, and later roped his second two-bagger of the game to plate a pair of runs in the eighth, but his offensive efforts were not enough as the Sox topped Oakland, 9-6, at Fenway Park. It marked the second time in his three-year career that the right-handed-hitting Donaldson doubled twice in the same game, previously doing so on May 18th of last season in San Francisco. On Tuesday, the Auburn University product went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored as the Athletics cruised to 13-0 victory over the Red Sox in a rain-shortened 7.0-inning affair. The win was Oakland's first shutout of the season and it marked their largest shutout victory over Boston since the then- Philadelphia Athletics won by a 15-0 margin on September 2, 1932. Additionally, it was the first shutout of fewer than nine innings for the A's since April 9, 1971, when Vida Blue blanked the Kansas City Royals, 5-0, after the game was called following the top of the sixth inning. Back in Oakland over the weekend, Donaldson notched a career-high-tying four hits, including a pair of doubles and two RBI, in a 7-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday at O.co Coliseum. Rounding out the week, Donaldson walked twice and had a two-run double to help Oakland defeat the O's, 9-8, in 10 innings on Sunday. The 48th overall pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft boosted his season batting average to .319, up 73 points from the beginning of the week. Heading into play today, Josh is tied for second in the A.L. with 10 doubles and is ninth in the Junior Circuit in RBI.
Other noteworthy performances included slugger Edwin Encarnacion (.308, 5 HR, 8 RBI, 8 R) of the Toronto Blue Jays; designated hitter David Ortiz (.478, 4 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R) of the Boston Red Sox; Detroit's Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 8.0 IP, 0 R, 17 SO vs. Atlanta on April 26th, setting a new franchise and regular-season Interleague game strikeout record); Seattle's Felix Hernandez (2-0, 14.0 IP, 0.64 ERA, 16 SO, 100th career victory on April 22nd vs. Houston); Matt Moore (2-0, 14.0 IP, 1.29 ERA, 18 SO) of the Tampa Bay Rays; Donaldson's Oakland teammate Bartolo Colon (1-0, 2 GS, 1 SHO, 3.46 ERA, 10 SO); Minnesota's Kevin Correia (2-0, 1.20 ERA, 15.0 IP, 7 SO); and Mariano Rivera (4 SV, 5 SO) of the New York Yankees.
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Josh Donaldson will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.