Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has been named the American League Player of the Week for his historic performance during the period ending April 7th. This marks Chris' second career weekly honor, having split the final award of the 2012 season with Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander on October 1st. Hall of Famer Eddie Murray was the last Oriole to win consecutive Player of the Week honors, accomplishing the feat on September 13th and September 20th in 1981. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Davis batted .455 (10-for-22) with three doubles, four home runs, 17 RBI and five runs scored in six games. For the week, the lefty-hitting slugger led all Major League hitters in RBI and slugging percentage (1.136) and was second overall in total bases (25). Among A.L. batters, Chris tied for second in homers, was fifth in batting average and was tied for sixth in on-base percentage (.500).
In Tuesday's season-opening tilt between Baltimore and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, Davis launched a three-run homer to cap a five-run seventh inning as the Orioles went on to defeat the Rays, 7-4. With two runners on and two outs in the inning, the 27-year-old deposited the first pitch he saw into the right-field seats to give the O's a four-run advantage en route to their first win of the year. The Longview, Texas native continued to swing a hot bat on Wednesday, notching a career-high-tying four hits, including two doubles, a homer and four RBI, but his offensive exploits were not enough as the Rays edged the Orioles, 8-7. Davis, a product of Navarro College (Corsicana, Texas), blasted a three-run homer in the first inning, lined a run-scoring single in the sixth and doubled and scored in the eighth in the loss. On April 4th, the fifth round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft (by Texas) went 2-for-3 with a double, a homer and four RBI as Baltimore defeated Tampa Bay, 6-3, in the rubber match of their three-game set. In Baltimore's home opener against the Minnesota Twins on Friday, the sixth-year veteran crushed a grand slam in the eighth inning to break a 5-5 tie as the O's went on to win, 9-5, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. After his 2-for-4, five-RBI night on Friday, Davis had more RBI (16) than 17 Major League Clubs. In addition, he became the first Oriole and fourth Major Leaguer to homer in each of the first four games of a season (also Willie Mays in 1971, Mark McGwire in 1998 and Nelson Cruz in 2011) and, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, he was the first Major Leaguer with a home run and at least three RBI in each of four consecutive games - at any point in a season - since Bill Dickey accomplished the feat over five straight games for the New York Yankees in June 1937.
Other noteworthy performances included Seattle's Mike Morse (5 HR, 8 RBI); Boston's Will Middlebrooks (3 HR vs. Toronto on April 7th) and Jon Lester (2-0, 1.50 ERA, 13 SO); Cleveland's Mark Reynolds (4 HR, 7 RBI); and Yu Darvish (2-0, 1.98 ERA, 20 SO, allowed 1 H in 8.2 IP on April 2nd at Houston) of the Rangers.
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Chris Davis will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.