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Santana surges to AL Player of the Week nod

Cleveland infielder/DH ties club record with five home runs in one series

After a historical power surge last weekend, Cleveland's Carlos Santana has been named the American League Player of the Week.

The infielder/designated hitter belted five home runs in the Indians' series against the Royals alone, becoming the first player in baseball to go yard five times in a series this year and the first since Hunter Pence in September of last year.

Over the course of seven games last week, Santana hit .556 (15-for-27) with three doubles, six home runs, 10 RBIs, five walks and eight runs. He led the Majors in batting average, homers, hits, runs scored, total bases (36) and slugging (1.333).

Santana and second baseman Jason Kipnis form the first Cleveland duo to receive the award in back-to-back weeks since Manny Ramirez and Bartolo Colon in 2000.

Santana began things with a four-hit day Tuesday, including two doubles and a home run. After a 2-for-4 day Thursday against the Royals, he came back with two homers and three RBIs on Friday. It was Santana's first multihomer game of the season and the third of his five-year career.

Santana hit one more homer and doubled in Saturday's loss, then went 3-for-3 with two more homers and four RBIs in Sunday's win to help the Tribe avoid the sweep. He finished the weekend series at a 9-for-14 clip.

"I feel strong," Santana said. "The first two months, I wasn't hitting well and I was struggling. But now, like I keep saying, I'm staying focused, playing hard, and that's happening now."

Santana's performance against the Royals also tied an Indians record for homers in a series (Hal Trosky in 1934, Joe Carter in '89, Albert Belle in '95, Matt Williams in '97 and Travis Hafner in 2004).

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

Cleveland Indians, Carlos Santana