Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending July 20th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Kipnis batted .333 (5-for-15) with two homers, six RBI, four walks and three runs scored in four games to capture his third career weekly honor and the second for the Tribe this season, joining All-Star Michael Brantley, who was tabbed on June 16th. Kipnis' previous two weekly nods came last season when he was named on June 17th and July 1st. Among league leaders, Jason was first in RBI, tied for first in homers, tied for second in total bases (11) and was fifth in slugging percentage (.733).
On Friday in the Motor City, Kipnis launched a pair of homers with four RBI as the Indians defeated the Detroit Tigers, 9-3, at Comerica Park. The left-handed-hitting Kipnis launched a three-run shot as part of a seven-run seventh inning for Cleveland, and two frames later collected his second career multi-homer effort with a solo blast in the ninth. Jason's last two-homer game came on May 26, 2012 at the Chicago White Sox. In the first game of a double dip on Saturday, the 27-year-old went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI to help lead Cleveland to a 6-2 triumph. In the nightcap, the Illinois native went 0-for-2, but walked three times and scored a run as the Indians won, 5-2, to sweep their first doubleheader in Detroit since July 17, 1966 at Tiger Stadium. It marked the Tribe's fourth straight doubleheader sweep overall against Detroit. Of note, Kipnis drew three free passes one other time this season, on April 5th against Minnesota at Progressive Field.
Kipnis, a former second round pick in the 2009 Draft (by Cleveland) out of Arizona State University, is hitting .259 on the season with 14 doubles, one triple, five homers, 30 RBI, 37 runs scored and a team-leading 13 stolen bases in 72 games. The 2013 All-Star spent the majority of May on the disabled list due to a right oblique injury, just his second trip to the D.L. in his four-year career. Since his return on May 28th, Cleveland has gone 26-19 to climb into second place in the A.L. Central.
Other noteworthy performances over the abbreviated week in the A.L. included 2014 A.L. All-Stars Jose Altuve (.357, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI) of the Houston Astros; Josh Donaldson (.333, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R) of the Oakland Athletics; and Jon Lester (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 8.0 IP, 8 SO) of the Boston Red Sox; as well as Evan Longoria (.385, 3 2B) of the Tampa Bay Rays and Garrett Richards (0-0, 1.13 ERA, 8.0 IP, 7 SO) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Jason Kipnis will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.