Surging Mauer takes top AL honors

Mauer wins AL Player of Week Award

Reaching base four times in one game is hard enough.

Reaching four times in five consecutive games is record-equaling and award-winning for Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer, who was named the American League's Bank Of America Player of the Week on Monday.

The 23-year-old hit .625 (15-for-24) with five doubles, four RBIs and two stolen bases.

Mauer is reportedly the third Major League player to ever reach base four times in five consecutive games. But the mark is considered unofficial by the Elias Sports Bureau because no official record exists for consecutive games reaching base four times.

Mauer is the third player in the AL this season to hit at least .600 in a week.

"I'm trying to ride it out as long as I can," Mauer, the first overall in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, said Thursday. "I'm just putting together some good at-bats. I know it's not going to last the whole season. I just go out there and give it my best, I can't really ask for much more than that."

The tear began Tuesday in Seattle as Mauer went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI in a 4-2 loss to the Mariners. Mauer added three runs and two RBIs Wedensday, then went 3-for-4 Thursday to prevent a Mariners sweep.

The Twins took two of three from Baltimore over the weekend behind Mauer's 6-for-12 series.

Although the honor is Mauer's first Player of the Week award, his hot bat isn't new; he leads the Major Leagues with a .386 average through Sunday. He has five home runs and 30 RBIs on the season.

"Mauer has just been unbelievable," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He seems to be on just about everything they throw up there."

Mauer beat out Cleveland catcher Victor Martinez, who hit .458 and drove in 11 runs last week, and Seattle right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, the previous AL Player of the Week. Tampa Bay starting pitcher James Shields, who went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA with two six-inning starts -- the second and third starts of his career -- also received consideration.

Mauer, a Minnesota native, starred in football and baseball at Cretin-Durham High School. At quarterback, he led his team to a 5-A state football championship in 2000 and signed a letter-of-intent to play football at Florida State University before being drafted by the Twins. He also tied a national high school record with a home run in seven consecutive games as a senior.

D.C. Reeves is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.