Hot-hitting Rupp earning more time behind plate

Catcher hitting .367 over his last 11 games

Hot-hitting Rupp earning more time behind plate

PITTSBURGH -- As temperatures rise, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg foresees increased playing time for catcher Cameron Rupp.

Sandberg said the daily grind behind the plate can be tough, so the heat certainly plays a factor.

But so does Rupp's hot hitting.

In his last 11 games, the 26-year-old from Texas is hitting .367 (11-of-30) with four doubles and four RBIs. Rupp added two more hits in Friday's 1-0, 13-inning loss to the Pirates.

"In the way that he's performed as of late, I can see him getting some more looks," Sandberg said. "He's swung the bat well. He's showed a very strong arm. It looks like he's coming along behind the plate."

After starting 18 games last year for the Phillies, Rupp has already started a career-high 19 games this season. He has reached base safely in 14 of those games.

Rupp has filled in for Carlos Ruiz the last two gams, getting two hits in each game.

And with Philadelphia opening its series against southpaw Jeff Locke and the Pirates, Rupp also provides solid numbers against left-handed pitchers. It's a small sample size, but in 30 career plate appearances against lefties, Rupp totes a .259 batting average and .333 on-base percentage.

Even though Ruiz's season averages against southpaws are better (.350 average, .409 on-base), Sandberg is riding the hot stick as the summer -- and competition -- heats up.

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