Seven homers in seven games. Scoring three times in one game.The dog days of August are no match for the Blue Jays' Kendrys Morales, who slugged his way into Toronto's record books and earned his fifth career Player of the Week presented by W.B. Mason honor for the American League.
Seven homers in seven games. Scoring three times in one game.
The dog days of August are no match for the Blue Jays' Kendrys Morales, who slugged his way into Toronto's record books and earned his fifth career Player of the Week presented by W.B. Mason honor for the American League. The Cubs' Anthony Rizzo received the National League nod.
Morales sent a two-run homer 402 feet into the right-field seats on Sunday, marking the 35-year-old's seventh straight game with a home run and breaking a Blue Jays franchise record set by Jose Cruz in 2001. The Major League record for most consecutive games with a home run is eight, shared by Ken Griffey Jr. (1993), Don Mattingly ('87) and Dale Long ('56).
• Past winners:AL | NL
The Cuban switch-hitter broke this season's record of six straight games with a homer, a mark previously set by Matt Carpenter. Morales flashed the first seven-game home run streak since Kevin Mench in 2006. He's hitting .481/.500/1.370 with a 1.870 OPS, 13 RBIs and nine runs scored over that stretch.
Whether or not Morales makes MLB history by powering his eighth homer in eight games on Monday against the Orioles, his bat already has a place in Cooperstown, N.Y. He sent a game-used bat to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame following Sunday's loss to the Phillies at Rogers Centre.
"I'm really happy that they want my bat," Morales said through an interpreter. "It's amazing what I've been doing so far."
Though the Cubs are undefeated since adding Daniel Murphy to their lineup, Rizzo's incredible week is one of the reasons Chicago enters Monday a season-high 23 games over .500.
The first baseman earned his third career Player of the Week honor for hitting .417/.516/.917 with three homers, six RBIs, three doubles, six walks and seven runs scored over his last seven games. Rizzo scored three of those runs in Sunday's 9-0 shutout over the Reds.
Rizzo homered on one knee off the Tigers' Jordan Zimmermann on Tuesday, marking the first of three consecutive games with a home run for the first baseman. Chicago is 5-0 since acquiring Murphy from the Nationals, and Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he thinks players like Rizzo are feeding off that newfound energy.
"With Daniel setting the tone at the top, I love the idea that [Javier Baez] stands in the on-deck circle and watches him," Maddon said. "I love that Rizzo is in the hole and he's watching. I like that guys are able to see him."
Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.