Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera and Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nelson Cruz have been named the American League Co-Players of the Week for the period ending September 7th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Cabrera batted .500 (15-for-30) with two doubles, five homers, nine RBI and eight runs scored in seven games to stake a claim to his 11th career Player of the Week honor, the seventh during his seven-year tenure in the Motor City, and the second for Detroit this season after teammate J.D. Martinez was tabbed on June 23rd. Miguel last took weekly honors on August 12, 2013 when he and then-teammate Austin Jackson shared the accolade. Cabrera also won four times in the National League during his five seasons (2003-07) with the Florida Marlins. The two-time AL Most Valuable Player and 2012 Triple Crown winner has been a mainstay among offensive leaderboards over the last 12 years, with this past week being no exception. Last week, Miggy led the Majors in hits, homers and total bases (32) and he tied for first overall in runs scored. Amongst his league mates, the right-handed-slugging Cabrera was tops in batting average and slugging percentage (1.067); was tied for second in RBI; and was tied for third in on-base percentage (.500). The 31-year- old from Venezuela hit safely in all seven games, including six multi-hit efforts and a pair of two-homer games. The nine-time All-Star launched two round trippers (3-for-5, 3 RBI, 4 R) on Monday in a 12-1 win in Cleveland and did so again on Saturday (2-for-4, 3 RBI) in a 5-4 loss to San Francisco at Comerica Park. On the season, Cabrera is batting .310 with 44 doubles, 22 homers, 100 RBI and 90 runs scored in 140 games. He leads the AL in doubles, is tied for second in extra-base hits (67) and is third in RBI. Cabrera reached the 100-RBI plateau for the 11th straight season with a three-RBI day in a 6-1 win over the Giants on Sunday. He is currently the only Major Leaguer to compile an RBI string of that length.
Cruz batted .407 (11-for-27) with a double, a triple, four homers, 12 RBI and six runs scored in seven games to garner his third career weekly award and his second of the 2014 season (also June 2nd). Teammates Steve Pearce and Adam Jones also shared the honor for Baltimore on July 7th. The right-handed-swinging Cruz led the Majors in RBI, and among A.L. hitters he was second in total bases (26); tied for second in homers; was third in slugging percentage (.963); and was tied for fourth in hits and runs scored. The 34-year-old native of the Dominican Republic was the key offensive figure in Baltimore's 7-5 victory in 11 innings yesterday at Tampa Bay, driving in all of Baltimore's seven runs as the 10-year vet went 4-for-5 with a triple and two homers. Nelson became the first player with seven RBI to account for all of his team's runs since Colorado's Jason Giambi on May 19, 2011 and was the first in the AL since Anaheim's Garret Anderson on May 8, 2003. Luke Scott was the last Oriole with seven RBI in a game on July 7, 2009. Cruz launched a two-run homer in the sixth inning, a clutch bases-clearing triple in the ninth inning to give the O's a 5-4 lead, and a go-ahead two-run homer in the 11th frame to give Baltimore a 7-5 lead as the O's finished Sunday with a 9.5-game advantage in the AL East. The three-time All-Star leads the Majors with 39 homers and is second in the AL with 101 RBI.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco (1-0, 0.64 ERA, 14.0 IP, 18 SO); Derek Holland (1-0, 0.64 ERA, 14.0 IP, 11 SO) of the Texas Rangers; and Howie Kendrick (.440, 3 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
In recognition of their American League Co-Players of the Week Awards, Miguel Cabrera and Nelson Cruz will each be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.