07/26/2004 11:52 PM ET
Tejada shares AL honor
By Gary Washburn / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- Miguel Tejada vowed at the All-Star Game in Houston to do more to help the Orioles win in the second half.
|Miguel Tejada celebrates after hitting the most homers in a round during the Century 21 Home Run Derby. (Charles Krupa/AP)
Well, if this past week is any indication of what he is capable of, the Orioles will be an improved club in the final two months.
Tejada was named American League Co-Player of the Week, which was quite a feat given the week Boston's Kevin Millar, who shared the award with Tejada, produced.
Tejada batted .424 (14-for-33) with an AL-leading 14 RBIs and 11 runs in the past week and single-handedly led Orioles to wins over the Royals, Red Sox and Twins. In the two-game series against Kansas City, Tejada was 3-for-9 with two homers and four RBIs.
The shortstop continued his sparkling play at Fenway Park. Against Pedro Martinez, Tejada tripled, singled and had four RBIs. He then added an RBI single in the ninth inning for his fifth five-RBI game of his career.
Tejada drilled another homer on July 22 against Boston and then put on an amazing display Saturday against Minnesota. He doubled in the O's first run and tied the game with a home run off Terry Mulholland.
In the eighth inning, he stole second base and Matt LeCroy's throw skidded into center field. Instead of being content with third base, Tejada took off for home and scored just before LeCroy's tag to give the Orioles a crucial insurance run.
It was the type of hustle and guile that has typified Tejada since he signed a six-year, $72 million contract in December.
"That's good, that's good," he said after the Orioles lost 12-5 to the Red Sox. "It makes me feel like I do a great job. And I am really happy to do it. I just try to help the team."
After Monday's game, Tejada has an AL-leading 92 RBIs, just 16 short of his total from all of last season. And he is hitting a blistering .337 in July with seven homers and 27 RBIs, making him a viable candidate for Player of the Month honors.
Millar had an exceptional week after hearing boo birds in Boston when the team returned from a road trip to Anaheim. The first baseman hit .583 with six homers, 32 total bases, a 1.333 slugging percentage and a .615 on-base percentage. In the emotional three-game series against the Yankees, Millar was 10-for-13 with four homers and eight RBIs. He also hit two home runs in the three-game series against the Orioles.
The Orioles' Sidney Ponson was one of three pitchers on the ballot this week. He was 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts.
Gary Washburn is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.