Right-handed pitcher Andrew Bailey and first baseman Mike Napoli of the Boston Red Sox have been named the American League Co-Players of the Week for the period ending April 21st. This marks just the third time a pair of Red Sox have shared a weekly honor, joining Mike Lowell and David Ortiz (week ending August 26, 2007) along with Pedro Martinez and Trot Nixon (week ending July 7, 2002). The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network. Bailey and Napoli helped lead the Red Sox to a 5-2 record during an emotional week in Boston. Bailey went 1-0 with three saves, one walk and eight strikeouts over 5.0 innings pitched in five appearances to claim his first Player of the Week Award.
Among Major League leaders, the 2009 A.L. Rookie of the Year tied for first in appearances and saves. Napoli, also a first-time winner, batted .345 (10-for-29) with five doubles, a triple, a home run and 10 RBI over seven games. In addition to leading the Majors in RBI, Mike finished tied for first overall in doubles, tied for second in total bases and was tied for third in hits. Napoli delivered some late-inning magic on Monday to help the Sox edge the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, 3-2, at Fenway Park. With the game tied at 2-2 in the home half of the ninth, Napoli doubled off the Green Monster to score Dustin Pedroia and claim Boston's second walk-off win in three days. Napoli's third career game-winning hit gave Bailey his first win of the season. On Tuesday in Cleveland, Napoli roped a pair of doubles with three RBI to lead the Red Sox to a 7-2 win over the Indians at Progressive Field. The Florida native broke the game open in the second with a bases-clearing double, his second two-bagger of the inning, to give Boston a seven-run cushion. On Wednesday, Napoli went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI as the Red Sox defeated Cleveland, 6-3. The 31-year-old Napoli rolled a two-run single in the first for the early advantage with Bailey later tossing a perfect ninth frame with a pair of strikeouts en route to his first save of the season. In the final game of the series on Thursday, Napoli enjoyed his third two-hit performance in as many days as the Red Sox swept the Indians with a 6-3 win. Napoli, in his eighth Major League season and his first with Boston, finished the game 2-for-5 with a triple, an RBI and two runs scored. Bailey, a veteran of five seasons, needed just 13 pitches to close out the victory for his second save. The 28-year-old New Jersey native notched his third consecutive save on Saturday to finish a 4-3 win over the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. In the second game of a doubleheader against the Royals on Sunday, Napoli collected a season-best three hits in five at-bats, in a 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Royals. Napoli doubled, homered and drove in two in the contest, while Bailey hurled a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts to send the game into extras.
Other noteworthy performances included Kansas City's Lorenzo Cain (.556, 3 2B, 1 HR) and Greg Holland (3 SV, 8 SO in nine opponent at-bats), and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Mike Trout (.391, 3 2B, 1 HR, 9 RBI).
The co-winners of the American League Player of the Week, Andrew Bailey and Mike Napoli, will each be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.