Boston Red Sox infielders Will Middlebrooks and Mike Napoli have been named the American League Co-Players of the Week for the week ending September 8th. It marks the second time this season (and the fourth occurrence ever) that a pair of Red Sox teammates have shared the weekly honor, with Napoli and Andrew Bailey last accomplishing the feat for the week ending April 21st. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Middlebrooks batted .464 (13-for-28) with a double, four homers, nine RBI and eight runs scored in seven games to claim his second career A.L. Player of the Week Award (previously accomplished for the week ending June 24, 2012). Among Major League leaders, the 25-year-old Middlebrooks led all hitters in hits and total bases (26), was tied for first overall in RBI and was third in slugging percentage (.929).
In the A.L., Will was tied for first in runs scored and homers and was tied for third in on-base percentage (.500). Napoli hit .476 (10-for-21) with two doubles, four homers, nine RBI and seven runs scored in seven games en route to winning his second career Player of the Week Award. The 31-year-old Napoli led all Major League hitters in batting average and slugging percentage (1.143), was tied for first overall in RBI and was second in total bases. On the Junior Circuit, Mike was first in on-base percentage (.577) and was tied for fourth in runs scored.
On Wednesday, Middlebrooks and Napoli each doubled and homered and combined for six RBI as the Red Sox routed the Detroit Tigers, 20-4, at Fenway Park. Will tied a season high with four RBI and the pair represented two of the seven Red Sox batters with multiple hits. Their blasts were two of eight Boston homers overall, the most for the Club since July 4, 1977. In the opener of a four-game set with the New York Yankees in the Bronx on Thursday, Middlebrooks went 2-for-5 with a homer and two runs scored, and Napoli added a pair hits with an RBI of his own as the Red Sox edged the Yanks, 9-8. On Friday, Napoli, a Florida native, went 3-for-3 with a double, a grand slam, four RBI and three runs scored, and Middlebrooks, who hails from Texas, went 2-for-5 with a homer and two runs scored to lead Boston to a12-8 triumph over New York. Napoli's bases-loaded shot was part of nine unanswered runs for the Red Sox over the seventh and eighth innings in the win. On Saturday, Napoli homered twice and drove in three runs to guide Boston to their fifth straight win, a 13-9 decision over the Bombers. It was Mike's third two-homer game this season. On Sunday, Middlebrooks homered among two hits - his fifth straight multi-hit game - and also walked once as the Yankees salvaged the final game of the series with a 4-3 win.
Other noteworthy performances included Alex Rios (.429, 3 HR, 5 RBI) of Texas; Greg Holland (5 G, 4 SV, 6 SO) of Kansas City; Scott Feldman (first career shutout on September 6th vs. the White Sox) of Baltimore; and Esmil Rogers (2-0, 0.00 ERA 14.0 IP, 4 H, 9 SO) of Toronto. The co-winners of the American League Player of the Week, Will Middlebrooks and Mike Napoli, will each be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.