Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez can add another trophy to his mantle after being voted the American League Player of the Month for August. The five-time All-Star switch hitter has been awarded the A.L. Player of the Week award four times throughout his career, but never has he earned the monthly honor.
Coupled with his first A.L. Player of the Month award, Martinez was also named the Player of the Month for the Detroit Tigers. Martinez batted .350 with five doubles, six home runs, 30 RBI and 20 runs scored, striking out just seven times in 117 at-bats. The last Tiger with the A.L. Player of the Month honors was two-time MVP and 2012 Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, in August 2013.
Among major league hitters, Martinez led in RBI, intentional walks (7), times on base (61), and was tied for first with Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison and Minnesota rookie Danny Santana in hits. Martinez was second in batting average, total bases (64), plate appearances per strikeout (19.71) and at-bats per RBI (3.90) with a minimum of 84 plate appearances.
He was also third in on-base percentage (.442), fourth in walks (19), sixth in slugging percentage (.547), and was tied for seventh in homers. Martinez hit a pair of seven-game hitting streaks and put up 14 multi-hit games while not going hitless in back-to-back games since both ends of a doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians on July 19th.
Of note, Martinez was 2-4 with a three-run homer to back a four-hit gem from the Tigers pitching staff, as they defeated the Colorado Rockies 4-0 on August 3 at Comerica Park. It was Martinez's second three-run shot in as many days after he launched one the previous night in an 11-5 win over Colorado.
Martinez singled three times and drove in three as Detroit doubled up the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-4 on August 13 to halt a four-game skid in Detroit. On August 20, Martinez went 2-3 with an RBI double and his fourth career grand slam, guiding the Tigers to a 6-0 shutout win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. The bases-loaded smash was Victor's first grand slam since June 22, 2013 against the Boston Red Sox.
He is 3-4 with 10 RBI and three walks in seven plate appearances with the bases loaded this year. On August 24 against the Twins in Minnesota, Martinez was 3-6 with a pair of singles and a two-run blast as Detroit won 13-4. The homer was his 25th of the season, tying a career best previously set in 2007 while with Cleveland.
Martinez moved past his single-season mark for homers with his 26th blast on August 27 against the New York Yankees at Comerica Park. Martinez has put together one of the finest offensive campaigns in the A.L. so far in 2014, batting .332 with 28 doubles, 28 homers, 90 RBI and 75 runs scored in 127 games.
He ranks first in on-base percentage (.402) and intentional walks (23) and is second in batting average and slugging percentage (.566) this season. Martinez is also batting .313 with seven extra-base hits and 24 RBI with two outs and runners in scoring position.