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Jennings wins first AL Weekly honors

Rays' young star led Majors in total bases and extra-base hits in that span

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After leading all Major Leaguers in total bases last week, Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings has been named the American League Player of the Week, the first time he's received that honor.

Jennings said in Spring Training that he was striving for more consistency.

"That was definitely one of my goals coming into the season," he said before Tuesday's game against the Orioles. "And it's working so far."

Jennings hit .355 (11-for-31) with three doubles, three home runs, three RBIs, eight runs and three stolen bases last week. He led the Majors in total bases (23), extra-base hits (six) and was tied for first in homers. Jennings led the AL in runs, tied for first in hits, tied for third in stolen bases and was fourth with a .742 slugging percentage.

All of which came as no surprise to manager Joe Maddon.

"Since he's been here, we've always believed his potential was kind of what we saw last week," Maddon said. "It's pretty hard to beat what he did."

Jennings went 2-for-4 Monday with a sacrifice hit, a stolen base and a run against the White Sox, becoming just the third Rays player to tag up and score from second base on a sacrifice fly. It was the first time it'd happened in the Majors since Aug. 10, 2012, when Erick Aybar did it against the Mariners.

Jennings helped lead the Rays to their first doubleheader sweep at Fenway Park on Thursday, then homered and stole two bases against the Yankees on Friday in the Bronx. On Saturday, he homered in his career-high third straight game, before posting a three-hit game on Sunday against New York.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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