Toronto Blue Jays first baseman and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending July 28th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network. Encarnacion batted a league-leading .520 (13-for-25) with three doubles, two home runs, eight RBI, five runs scored and five walks over seven games to claim his third career weekly honor and his second while with the Blue Jays (last accomplished for the week ending October 3, 2010). Edwin claimed one National League Player of the Week while with the Cincinnati Reds in 2006. In addition to leading the league in batting average, Edwin also topped his A.L. counterparts in on-base percentage (.581), hits and total bases (22), and he was second in slugging percentage (.880) and tied for second in RBI.
In an Interleague matchup with the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 22nd, the right-handed-hitting slugger notched his first of three multi-hit games on the week with a 3-for-4 performance in a 14-5 loss at the Rogers Centre. On Thursday, the 30-year-old roped an RBI-double and scored a run to help back a complete-game shutout by Mark Buehrle as the Jays snapped a season-long seven-game losing streak with a 4-0 blanking of the visiting Houston Astros. The next night, Encarnacion became the first Toronto hitter to homer twice in the same inning since Joe Carter on October 3, 1993 with a pair of blasts in an eight-run seventh frame as the Blue Jays doubled up the Astros, 12-6, at the Rogers Centre. Encarnacion's first homer of the inning came on the front end of back-toback shots with Adam Lind to knot the score at 6-6. After the Jays plated two more runs, the ninth round pick in the 2000 Draft (by Texas) gave Toronto a six-run cushion as he launched his sixth career grand slam and his second of the season to push the score to 12-6. The Dominican Republic native, who helped lead his country to an undefeated run during the 2013 World Baseball Classic, has both of Toronto's grand slams this year, and it marks the first time in his nine-year career in which he has collected multiple grand slams in a single campaign. On Saturday, Encarnacion, who was selected to his first All-Star Game earlier this month, had a seasonhigh four hits, including an RBI, in an 8-6 loss to the Astros. Rounding out the week on Sunday, Encarnacion doubled, walked twice (both intentional) and recorded a sacrifice fly as the Blue Jays edged Houston, 2-1, to take three-of-four from the Astros.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Cleveland's Michael Bourn (.292, 2 HR, 10 RBI); Seattle's Nick Franklin (.333, 3 HR, 8 RBI); Detroit's Torii Hunter (.409, 3 HR, 5 RBI) and Max Scherzer (2-0, 1.29 ERA, 14.0 IP, 0 BB, 12 SO); Boston's Jon Lester (2-0, 1.35 ERA, 13.1 IP, 2 BB, 16 SO); and Tampa Bay's Wil Myers (.429, 3 HR, 8 RBI).
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Edwin Encarnacion will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.