Kubel, Young share AL Player of Week
Outfielders led offense for Twins' frenzied finish
It's hard to choose one specific player who was most crucial on a surprising comeback such as the one the Twins had in the American League Central.
So Major League Baseball picked two.
The final American League Player of the Week -- presented by Bank of America -- for the 2009 regular season was announced on Monday, and it ended up being a split-decision between two Minnesota teammates, outfielders Jason Kubel and Delmon Young.
The Twins were 5 1/5 games behind the Tigers in the division as recently as Sept. 14 and started last week two back. But after going 5-2 -- including a 2-2 split against Detroit and four straight wins to close it out -- they find themselves in a one-game tiebreaker to settle the division winner Tuesday at 4:07 p.m. CT on TBS at the Metrodome.
And none of that would've likely been possible without Kubel and Young, who each had three home runs and 12 RBIs last week.
"These guys are playing with a lot of confidence and momentum right now," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of his team after Sunday's win. "You get on a roll and you just kind of feel like you're going to find a way to win."
Young hit safely in all seven games and compiled five straight multihit games to close out the week, in which he batted .448 (13-for-29) with six runs scored. The 24-year-old hit all three of his homers and drove in 10 runs in Minnesota's weekend sweep of the Royals.
Young finished the season batting .285 with 12 homers and 60 RBIs in 107 games. Since Sept. 1, he hit .347 and drove in 18 runs.
Kubel finished the final week of the regular season 11-for-26 (a .423 batting average) with two doubles and four multihit games. On Sunday, he smashed two home runs and drove in six runs in a 13-4 win over the Royals in game No. 162 for Minnesota.
With those two three-run shots, the 27-year-old finished the season batting .300 with a career-high 27 homers and 102 RBIs.
"It's fun to watch," injured first baseman Justin Morneau said of Kubel recently. "If he keeps swinging like that and they're not pitching to Joe [Mauer], we're going to go a long ways."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.