New York Yankees left fielder Alfonso Soriano has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending August 18th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Soriano, who was acquired by New York in a July 26th trade with the Chicago Cubs, batted .484 (15-for-31) with a double, five homers, 18 RBI and nine runs scored over seven games to guide the Yankees to a 5-2 record as they remain in the hunt for a Postseason berth. This marks Alfonso's seventh career weekly award, last claiming the honor on May 18, 2008 while with the Cubs. Soriano won three A.L. Player of the Week Awards in his first stint with the Bronx Bombers, the last of those coming on September 21, 2003. Among Major League leaders for the week, Soriano paced all hitters in homers, RBI, slugging percentage (1.000), hits and total bases (31), and was tied for first overall in runs scored. Tuesday's matchup with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim set the stage for a career week offensively as the 37-year-old slugger silenced a 1-for-16 slide with three hits, including a pair of homers and a career-best six RBI to lead the Yankees to a 14-7 win over the Halos at Yankee Stadium. On Wednesday, the Dominican Republic native showed no signs of slowing down, going 3-for-3 with a double, two homers and seven RBI in an 11-3 triumph over the Angels. Alfonso established a career high in RBI for the second straight game and in the process became just the third player in Major League history to collect at least six RBI in consecutive contests, joining Texas's Rusty Greer in 1997 and Milwaukee's Geoff Jenkins in 2001. Additionally, it marked the third time in his career that Alfonso notched multi-homer games on back-to-back days. After tallying four more hits in an 8-4 loss to the Angels on Thursday, the Soriano hit parade departed the Bronx for Fenway Park on Friday where the 15-year veteran went 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBI to lead New York to a 10-3 win over the Boston Red Sox. According to Elias, Soriano's 18 RBI over the four-game stretch from Tuesday to Friday matched Baseball's all-time mark for the most RBI in a four-game period since it became an official statistic in 1920, joining Jim Bottomley of the Cardinals (1929), the Yankees' Lou Gehrig (1930), Tony Lazzeri (1936) and Joe DiMaggio (1939), and Sammy Sosa of the Cubs (2002).
Other noteworthy performances last week included Detroit's Max Scherzer (18-1, 2.82 ERA in 2013), who became the fifth pitcher since 1912 to win 18 of his first 19 decisions in a season, and his teammate Miguel Cabrera (4 HR, 10 RBI); Minnesota's Andrew Albers (two-hit shutout vs. Cleveland on August 12th); Baltimore's Chris Davis (.409, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 2 2B); and Chicago's Chris Sale (2-0, 2.81 ERA, 1 BB, 14 SO).
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Alfonso Soriano will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.