Kouz control: Texas fill-in takes AL's weekly honor
Veteran led Junior Circuit with eight RBIs and 20 total bases replacing injured Beltre
Rangers third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff was so proficient filling in for injured All-Star Adrian Beltre this week, the veteran has been named the American League Player of the Week. It's Kouzmanoff's first career weekly award, and it comes after he signed with Texas as a Minor League free agent in December.
Over seven games, Kouzmanoff led the AL with eight RBIs and 20 total bases, while tying for the league lead in runs scored (six) and doubles (four). He hit .345 (10-for-29) on the week and was tied for third in the league with a .690 slugging percentage.
Kouzmanoff hit safely in his first 10 games in a Rangers uniform before he was held hitless in Sunday's loss to Chicago. That streak fell one shy of Fred Manrique's club record, set in 1989.
The veteran homered in Saturday's win against the White Sox, and Kouzmanoff provided key offense in Wednesday and Thursday's victories. He recorded his first three-hit game of the season on Tuesday, going 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and three RBIs in a 5-0 win against the Mariners. It was Kouzmanoff's first Major League home run since Sept. 25, 2011, while with the Rockies.
Kouzmanoff's teammate Martin Perez (one complete-game shutout victory, eight strikeouts) was among the other AL players recognized for their performance this week.