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Furcal honored with NL Player of the Week

Furcal honored with NL Player of the Week

LOS ANGELES -- On a tear that's almost two weeks long, Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal was named on Tuesday as the National League Player of the Week for June 28-July 4. The Dodgers went 5-1 over the week, including a three-game sweep of the rival Giants in which Furcal went 9-for-14.

Furcal has had to work through more than his time on the disabled list. He was deeply affected by the passing of his father last month.

"Going from being hurt to losing your father to winning Player of the Week, it's very special for me," Furcal said.

"I'm happy for him," manager Joe Torre said. "He went through a tough time when he was trying to get back off the DL. He's such a major part of what we do, just because of the energy of what he does. The fact that he's a good person really helps embrace this kid."

During the six-game span, Furcal led the Majors with a .538 average (14-for-26), nine runs scored and 24 total bases. His .923 slugging percentage was tops in the NL, and his .571 on-base percentage was second.

The 32-year-old has kept it up since the week ended. He extended his hit streak to 10 games on Tuesday, and he scored a run for a 12th straight game -- the most in Los Angeles Dodgers history. Gil Hodges also scored in 12 straight in June 1953 for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

"I'm playing the best I can, trying to help my team," Furcal said. "I'm so happy, especially if we win."

Bothered by back injuries in past seasons and a hamstring injury that landed him on the DL in May, Furcal is having his best season as a Dodger. He started Tuesday with a .335 average, five home runs, 30 RBIs and 44 runs scored.

"It's way big," Furcal said of not having to worry about his past injuries. "Your back, that's the thing that controls your body -- your lower body and everything. I feel good."

Furcal's 13-for-16 in steal attempts, and he has made some sparkling plays in the field, too, including a series of three straight plays Monday where he made either a diving or leaping attempt at a ball.

The award comes after Furcal was not named to the National League All-Star team, an honor his numbers appeared to merit.

"I deserved to go, I wished to go," Furcal said. "But they didn't pick me, and there's nothing I can do -- just keep playing."

Furcal won the NL Player of the Week award once before, when he was with the Braves in July 2004. The award is presented by Bank of America, and Furcal will receive a watch courtesy of Game Time.

Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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