Anthony Rizzo picked up where he left off after earning his first career All-Star selection.

The Cubs’ big first baseman on Monday was named National League Player of the Week for his 5-for-11 weekend series in Arizona that included three home runs and four RBIs – along with Sunday’s catch-and-tumble of a foul popup that manager Rick

Renteria called “the freaking greatest effort.”

Rizzo’s 23 home runs already match last year’s career high, and he’s tied for the National League lead with Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton.

“I’m just trying to put good swings on the ball,” he said over the weekend, adding that staying on a baseball routine over the All-Star break helped him stay hot as the second half opened.

“Definitely,” he said. “I hit for two days, got in the game, had a high intensity at-bat, and it was my first time doing that, so there definitely were some nerves there. I just wanted to come in here and try to slow the game down as much as I can.”

Over his last nine games, Rizzo is 13-for-36 (.361) with five homers, two doubles, two walks and six RBIs.

It was Rizzo’s first Player of the Week award and first for a Cubs hitter since Starlin Castro three years ago.


Twitter: @GDubCub