04/24/06 6:31 PM ET
Tejada nets AL Player of Week honors
By Dawn Klemish / MLB.com
The three-time All-Star earned Bank of America American League Player of the Week accolades on Monday after a week in which he batted .536 (15-for-28) with three home runs and 10 RBIs. The 29-year-old also carried an .857 slugging percentage and collected an AL-best 24 total bases. He hit safely in each of the week's seven games, and 17 of Baltimore's 20 games overall.
But more important than consistency, maybe, is the example he set for his teammates this week.
Tejada set the tone Tuesday after a demoralizing 15-1 loss to Cleveland the day before, going 3-for-5 with three runs scored as Baltimore exploded to score seven runs in the fifth inning during a 18-9 win over the Indians.
"Everybody knows we can play, and we know we can come back at any moment," he said after the game. "That's what we did [Tuesday night]. We just respect the game and we respect our fans. We don't want our fans to see anybody come here and try to beat us up so easily."
On Sunday, that's exactly what Randy Johnson and the Yankees did to the Orioles. But not Tejada.
The Big Unit, a five-time Cy Young Award winner, allowed just one run on three hits in eight innings of a 7-1 victory. Tejada, who went 4-for-4, was responsible for all the offense.
"It doesn't get much better than that," said Yankees manager Joe Torre in a postgame press conference. "If Tejada doesn't play, it may be a no-hitter."
Hitting a team- and American League-high .425 (34-for-80) on the season with four walks entering Monday, the Dominican Republic native leads Baltimore in RBIs (17) and total bases (48), and is tied with two others in home runs (four). This is the fifth time Tejada has earned Player of the Week honors, most recently on Sept. 26, 2004.
Also nominated this week were Tejada's teammate Brian Roberts (.478, six runs and six stolen bases), Oakland's Nick Swisher (.353, four homers and eight RBIs) and Kevin Mench (.381, three homers and 12 RBIs) and Texas' Michael Young (.440, five runs and five triples). Pitching candidates included Jose Contreras (2-0, 1.20 ERA, 15 IP) of the White Sox, and the Angels' Kelvim Escobar (2-0, 3.29 ERA, 14 Ks).
Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.