Overbay wins AL Player of the Week
Blue Jays first baseman led MLB in average, slugging
ARLINGTON -- Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay offered up a good reason on Monday on why he was selected as the American League Player of the Week presented by Bank of America.
Overbay went 1-for-3 and scored a run in Monday night's 6-3 win over the Rangers in Arlington.
"I'm probably as close as I've been to swinging it as good as I can," Overbay said. "I'm seeing pitches."
Overbay was scorching hot last week, batting .533. He went 8-for-15 in six games during the week, with two homers helping to boost his slugging percentage to 1.200, a Major League high.
Overbay did it against the best of the best. He had a home run and a two-run double against the American League's best pitcher this season, ERA leader Zack Greinke of Kansas City. The home run snapped the Kansas City right-hander's streak of not allowing a long ball at 111 innings pitched.
Approaching the 10th anniversary of his 18th-round selection in 1999's First-Year Player Draft, Overbay also homered on Sunday to keep his hitting streak alive at 13 games.
Overbay is hitting .302 for the season, and leads the Blue Jays in both slugging (.583) and on-base (.404) percentage.
Overbay's hot streak comes while key guys in the middle of the Jays' lineup like Vernon Wells and Alex Rios are struggling. Aaron Hill could be snapping out of his first major slump, hitting a home run Sunday to end a career long 0-for-25 hitless streak.
"We just need to feed off each other," Overbay said.
Manager Cito Gaston said before Monday's game in Texas that he was surprised Roy Halladay didn't get the award -- he had two complete-game victories last week -- but he had no complaints about it being Overbay.
"He's certainly picked up some other guys who aren't swinging the bat well," Gaston said. "I love to see it go for awhile."
The weekly award is the third of Overbay's career, following honors for the periods ending May 9, 2004, and July 5, 2006.
Others receiving consideration for the award included fellow Blue Jays Adam Lind (12 hits and five doubles, both league highs) and Halladay (2-0 with two complete games and 20 strikeouts); Oakland's Matt Holliday (seven runs and nine RBIs); and rookie A's right-hander Vin Mazzaro (13 2/3 shutout innings, a club record career-starting streak by a starter).
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.