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Damon named AL's Player of Week

Damon named AL's Player of Week

Johnny Damon, who rediscovered his home run stroke last week, is the American League Player of the Week presented by Bank of America for the period ending May 10.

Damon led the Major Leagues last week with five home runs and 15 RBIs in seven games, while hitting .419. His 1.032 slugging percentage, built on at least one extra-base hit in each of the seven games, was tops in the AL.

"It's been great," Damon said on Sunday. "[Yankees hitting coach] Kevin Long and I found something about a week ago with my swing. It's been a nice run. Hopefully I'll still have it once this off-day passes us, and I can continue to do that kind of stuff."

Damon said that Long identified a tweak in his balance and plate coverage, and that he now feels like he can protect better when hitting.

"He's been big late in games for us," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It seems like every time we get him up late in the game, he comes up with the big hit. He's one of the guys you like to see up there."

The weekly award was only the second of the 15-year veteran's career. He had previously earned honors for the week ending Aug. 21, 2006, during his first season with the Yankees.

"He's been doing a fantastic job," Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain said. "Johnny is just continuing to be Johnny, like he's been his whole career. He's getting big hits and coming up big when we need them."

Other top candidates for the award were Rays left fielder Carl Crawford (five stolen bases to raise his Major League-leading total to 22) and third baseman Evan Longoria (14 RBIs), Red Sox left fielder Jason Bay (14 RBIs and nine runs), A's infielder Bobby Crosby (AL-leading .421 average) and Angels closer Brian Fuentes (four saves).

Bryan Hoch 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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