Nomar, Pujols share NL Player of Week

Nomar, Pujols share NL Player of Week

One player continued his long journey back to the top. The other continued to set records for a first-place team. That's why Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra and St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols are co-winners of the Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week for May 8-14.

Garciaparra led the NL with 25 total bases and a 1.000 slugging percentage. He batted .480 (12-for-25) with five runs, three home runs, eight RBIs and a .519 on-base percentage in six games.

Converting from third base to first base hasn't been a problem for Garciaparra this season. He has yet to commit an error. His performance at the plate has been equally impressive, as Garciaparra had five multi-hit games during the week.

In a 12-7 win on Tuesday against San Diego, Garciaparra was one of five Dodgers with a multi-hit game.

"This was a really nice win because everybody got involved," Garciaparra said after Tuesday's game. "We hit home runs, but we were aggressive and we did the little things. When you score that many runs, everybody has to be doing their job."

Meanwhile, Pujols hit three home runs to push his Major League-leading total to 19 for the season. He also had 10 RBIs, pushing his Major League-leading total to 48, scored eight runs and hit two doubles. His average for the week was .429 (9-21).

The ongoing home run barrage from Pujols helped the Cardinals take over first place in the NL Central. His 19th homer came in the Cardinals' 37th game of the season. Pujols reached the mark three games faster than any other player in Major League history. It also came on the first day the Cardinals took over sole possession of first place in the division, which mattered much more to Pujols than his record home run pace.

"Who cares? We got the win," Pujols said when asked about the feat. "That's what matters. I did it tonight, and that's great, but at the end, I don't play for records. I play to get some wins and help my team out to win, and that's what I did tonight."

Pujols leads the league in an astounding array of categories. The four-time All-Star leads the Majors in runs scored (39), total bases (105), extra-base hits (25) and slugging percentage (.833), along with the home runs and RBIs.

Garciaparra and Pujols led their teams to 4-2 records during the week, and it wasn't without the help of a few teammates also nominated for the award. Nominees included the Dodgers' Jeff Kent (.304, five home runs, 10 RBIs), St. Louis' David Eckstein (.440, one double, four runs) and Jim Edmonds (.450, one homer, six RBIs) and Florida's Hanley Ramirez (.519, six runs, three stolen bases).

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