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Prolific May nets Encarnacion AL monthly award

After a truly powerful performance in May, Blue Jays designated hitter/first baseman Edwin Encarnacion was named the American League Player of the Month.

Encarnacion led the league in home runs (16), slugging percentage (.763) and extra-base hits (22). He was also tied for the lead in runs (26) while ranking second in RBIs (33). It's the first career monthly award for Encarnacion, and the first for a Toronto player since Jose Bautista in June 2012.

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Encarnacion's 16 homers set a new Blue Jays record for any month, passing Bautista (14 in June 2012), and they were the most by any Major League player in the month of May since Barry Bonds hit an MLB-record 17 in 2001.

"It was a historic month for him," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Of course, he started June 1st, came back and hit another one. He's on some kind of role, but he's good. Last couple of years he has been as good as anybody out there. You don't expect that, but he's pretty good."

Encarnacion's 33 RBIs were the most in Blue Jays history for May, and the total was one shy of the team mark in any calendar month (Carlos Delgado drove in 34 in June 2003). The slugger also had the most extra-base hits in May for a Blue Jay, and he was tied for second (John Olerud in 1993 and Joe Carter in '91) for a Toronto hitter in any month.

Encarnacion had five multihomer games in the month and had doubled his April home run output (two in 27 games) by May 8. He homered in three straight games three times (May 25-27, May 6-8 and May 18-21).

Joey Nowak is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.

Toronto Blue Jays, Edwin Encarnacion