Lance Berkman made his return to Houston this past week in grand fashion and, because of that performance and the rest of his spectacular week, the Cardinals outfielder was named the National League Player of the Week, Major League Baseball announced Monday.
The award already is Berkman's second weekly award this season, as he also was named Player of the Week for the week ending April 17.
The St. Louis outfielder hit .458 (11-for-24) in six games last week, tying for the second-highest average in the National League. He also had a Major League-high 20 total bases and slugged .833, the second-highest mark in the NL during that time. He finished the week with two home runs, three doubles and eight RBIs.
Berkman, 35, began the week by returning to Houston, where he spent parts of 11 seasons in an Astros uniform. In the three-game series, Berkman went 8-for-14 with seven RBIs and three runs scored. In the final game of the series on Thursday, Berkman went 4-for-5 with two home runs -- one from each side of the plate -- and five RBIs.
"Obviously when we signed him we thought he had upside offensively, and more importantly we thought he was just going to be a great fit on the club with his personality and everything we had heard in our due diligence," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said before Monday's game. "Understanding that he was always someone, too, who always wanted to play here. That made it more special. To get the performance and production out of him is outstanding."
That performance was the third time in Berkman's career that the five-time All-Star homered from both sides of the plate in the same game, the others coming on April 13 and July 3, 2006. The multi-home run game also was his third of the season, making Berkman the first Cardinal to have three multi-home run games in the team's first 25 games of the season.
Two other Cardinals, Matt Holliday and David Freese, also were among the players considered for the award. Holliday hit .458, slugged .708 and posted an on-base percentage of .536 during the week. Freese -- who went on the 15-day disabled list with a left-hand fracture on Monday -- hit .400 and posted a .455 on-base percentage.
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. Nate Latsch contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.