After helping the Royals to a seven-game winning streak and into a tight race in the American League Central, first baseman/designated hitter Billy Butler has been named the AL Player of the Week.
Butler hit. 435 (10-for-23) with five doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and seven runs over six games last week to capture his fifth career weekly honor. He's the first Kansas City player to be honored since he last took home the hardware on July 29, 2012.
Butler led the league in slugging percentage (.913) and total bases (21), was tied for first in doubles and tied for second in RBIs and runs scored.
Butler's personal seven-game hitting streak (.481, 13-for-27 over that stretch) coincides with Kansas City's run. Entering Monday's action, the Royals have a 1 1/2-game lead for the second AL Wild Card spot, and they are just a half-game behind the Tigers in the AL Central.
Butler, who has been playing first base with Eric Hosmer on the disabled list, set a season high with four hits on Tuesday, and he scored the winning run of a 4-3 game against the D-backs on Wednesday.
Butler also homered Friday, the 125th in his career, to move past Danny Tartabull into seventh place on the franchise all-time list.
Teammates Alex Gordon (.381 average, three homers, six RBIs), James Shields (shutout against the Giants) and Greg Holland (three saves, five strikeouts) were also recognized for their efforts this week.
Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.