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08/07/06 4:08 PM ET

Hudson named Player of the Week

Second baseman's offensive explosion earns honors

Orlando Hudson's continued improvement has not gone unnoticed.

After a week that saw a little bit of history and a whole lot of great play, the Diamondbacks second baseman has been honored with the National League Player of the Week, presented by Bank of America, for the week ending Aug. 6.

Hudson was among the league leaders last week in seven offensive categories. In seven games, Hudson hit .435 with 10 RBIs and an amazing slugging percentage of .957.

But what put Hudson over the top was his game on July 31 in Chicago, in what turned into a 15-4 rout of the Cubs.

Hudson went 2-for-3 with a career-high six RBIs. On top of that performance, he became only the third Arizona player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate. In the third inning, Hudson hit his first career grand slam, a ball that barely fell into the basket in center field at Wrigley Field.

"I thought I missed it at first," Hudson said. "It just happened [that] the baseball gods carried it over for me. It's not my game. I'm just trying to put the ball in play and get on base for the other guys."

Hudson also might have been inspired by his new haircut, which he received only hours before his productive game.

"You guys are lucky to be playing with the best-looking man in baseball," Hudson proclaimed when he emerged from the locker room shower that served as a makeshift barber shop.

The 2005 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner continued his spectacular week, as he collected four doubles and 22 total bases, leading the Diamondbacks to within a game of the Wild Card-leading Reds and two games of the National League West-leading Padres entering Monday. Along the way, Hudson collected four multi-hit games.

It didn't come without sacrifice, though. Hudson sat out Sunday's game with a sore left ankle, but the decision was a difficult one to make for Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin.

"He's banged it up a couple times," Melvin said. "It's something that's been lingering for a while and hasn't gotten any better. [It's tough] to give him a day off, because he's swung the bat so well."

Hudson wasn't the only Arizona player to have a good week. Teammates Eric Byrnes (four home runs, six RBIs) and Stephen Drew (.500 average, two home runs, seven RBIs) were nominated as well.

Other nominees included Rafael Furcal, Kenny Lofton and Greg Maddux of the Dodgers, San Diego's Dave Roberts, Atlanta's Marcus Giles, Adam LaRoche and Brian McCann, and Ryan Howard and Chase Utley of the Phillies, among others.

In recognition of this honor, Hudson will be awarded a Tourneau luxury Swiss timepiece.

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