After going his whole (albeit brief) Major League career without winning a weekly honor from the American League, Francisco Lindor decided to go ahead and win it twice in a row.
The Indians’ star shortstop hit .600 and was named the American League’s Co-Player of the Week for games played between May 7 and May 13, sharing the honor with Seattle Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton.
Lindor, who hit .425 with four doubles, four homers, ten RBI, and eleven runs scored while hitting in all eight games played between April 30 and May 6, followed it up with another impressive offensive performance last week. In a two-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers and a three-game set over the weekend at home against the Kansas City Royals, he tallied 12 hits in 20 at bats, hitting .600 with four doubles, four homers, five RBI, and eight runs scored in a short week.
After winning his first career award on Monday, he kicked off his big week during the series with the Brewers on Tuesday in Milwaukee. He went 4-for-9 in the two-gamer, hitting a double and a solo homer in the 3-2 loss Tuesday before hitting his sixth homer of the month and third in four games in a 2-for-5 effort in Wednesday’s 6-2 win.
Following a day off on Thursday, Lindor got right back to work, extending his hitting streak to a dozen games with a single while also drawing a pair of walks on Friday in the 10-9 loss to Kansas City. He responded with a career day at the plate on Saturday, hitting two doubles and two homers to rack up 12 total bases in the 6-2 win while scoring a career-high four times. He added three more hits in the finale and reached base four times, hitting a pair of singles and a double while also being hit by a pitch.
In addition to hitting safely in every game of May, Lindor has scored in 11 of 12 contests this month. He moved his batting average from .283 at the start of the week to .321 at week’s end. Entering play on Monday night with the Detroit Tigers, Lindor had appeared in 39 games, slashing .321/.388/.624 with 14 doubles, 12 homers, and 25 RBI.
The Player of the Week award, which began in 1974, has never been won in consecutive weeks by an Indians player until Lindor’s big numbers in May earned him the back-to-back nods. He was the first Clevelander to win the award since Corey Kluber last September.
Lindor will share the honor with the Canadian-born Paxton, who threw a no-hitter on May 8 against the Blue Jays in Toronto, striking out seven and walking three while facing just two over the minimum. His second start of the week was a little less impressive given the prior circumstances, but still good as he took a no-decision against the Detroit Tigers, allowing three runs on six hits with four strikeouts in six innings of a quality start.
The National League also handed out an award to an Ohio player, recognizing Cincinnati native and Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett. He appeared in five games for the surging Reds, hitting two doubles, four homers, and ten RBI while scoring seven times and hitting .591 for the week against the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers. It boosted his season batting average by 47 points to .329.
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