Toronto Blue Jays' Bo Bichette sprints out of the batter's box after hitting a double in the first inning of baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.The shortstop has been named the American League's player of the week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Tony Gutierrez

Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette named American League player of the week

Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette has been named the American League’s player of the week.

Bichette batted .500 (16-for-32) with 11 runs scored, four doubles, one triple, five home runs, 13 runs batted in and a 1.156 slugging percentage as the Blue Jays posted a 5-2 record last week. He said on Monday he appreciated the timing of the award as Toronto targets a post-season appearance.

“It’s pretty cool to have a week like that, especially this time of the year,” said Bichette in the Rogers Centre dugout. “It’s cool but I’m going to keep on moving forward.”

The 24-year-old from Orlando, Fla., recorded at least three hits in each of his first three games of the week, going 10-for-15 with four home runs and nine RBIs.

His breakout week was during a critical 10-game road trip, the longest of Toronto’s season, with the playoffs hanging in the balance. The Blue Jays won eight games in that stretch and began a seven-game homestand on Monday against the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles.

“Every game from here on out is a really big one,” said Bichette. “We need every win we can get.

“We just have to continue to come to the field, competing as best as we can, and leaving it all out there and whatever happens happens.”

Bichette won his first player of the week award and is the first Blue Jay to receive the honour since pitcher Kevin Gausman on Aug. 8.

The last Toronto position player to be named player of the week was first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on June 21.

“It’s kind of hitter that (Bichette) is, that he can be,” said Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider. “I think that he is locked in right now and not missing pitches, taking pitches competently.

“His plan is great, but his execution is better.”

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman was named the National League’s player of the week after batting .545 (12-for-22) with seven runs scored, two doubles, three home runs, eight RBIs and a 1.045 slugging percentage across six games.