Gardner slugs way to AL Player of Week honors

Yanks outfielder hits .478 with five homers, 29 total bases in six games

Gardner slugs way to AL Player of Week honors

NEW YORK -- Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner slugged his way to the Yankees' second American League Player of the Week honor of the season, leading the Majors in slugging percentage (1.261), homers (five) and total bases (29) for the week ending Sunday.

Gardner joins teammate Carlos Beltran as the two Yankees to earn the honor in 2014. Gardner also hit .478 (11-for-23) with three doubles, seven RBIs, five walks and eight runs in six games. It's his second career weekly honor (week ending June 9, 2013).

"It's been fun, and if he wants to do it this week, that would be great," said manager Joe Girardi. "We've seen a lot of good things from him over the years, and obviously we've talked about how important he is to our team. It's probably the best week that I've seen him have, and it's been fun to watch."

Gardner started the week off with a bang Monday, blasting two solo home runs in a 3-for-5 game against the Rangers and Yu Darvish in Arlington. It was his first career multi-homer game (his 722nd career game).

Gardner followed that up with a 4-for-5 performance Tuesday, which included two doubles, a leadoff homer and three runs. His three runs scored were the most since he scored four times on April 24.

He also homered Wednesday, becoming the first Yankees player to hit leadoff homers in back-to-back games since Derek Jeter on Aug. 17-18, 2001. He was just the third Yankees player to do that since 1965.

Gardner finished the week with a 3-for-4 game against the Red Sox on Sunday, hitting a double and a homer and driving in three. His 15 home runs through Sunday mark a career best (eight in 2013).

Jake Kring-Schreifels is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.