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Scott's emphatic return earns league honor

Scott's emphatic return earns league honor

SEATTLE -- Luke Scott ripped another pitch on Monday, but this one came at a considerably slower speed. Baltimore's designated hitter took a few moments to discuss his recent hot streak, a six-homer tear that helped earn the veteran recognition as the American League's Player of the Week.

The honor was the second in Scott's career. It was also the first one this season earned by an Orioles player.

"It's a tremendous blessing," said Scott. "I'm very thankful. I've thoroughly enjoyed it, and I hope it continues for the rest of the year. Just keep going out there, having good at-bats and enjoy the competition."

Scott hit home runs in four consecutive games last week, becoming the first Orioles player to do that in four seasons. And he also had back-to-back multihomer games, becoming the first Baltimore player to do that since Albert Belle did it during the 2000 season. Strangely enough, Scott credits an injury for his recent power surge.

The slugger missed two weeks with a strained left shoulder, and he said the injury has helped alter his approach. Scott no longer swings at pitches on the outside corner, an adjustment that came about largely because he was trying not to overextend the shoulder. Scott, who was activated from the disabled list last Wednesday, called the injury a blessing in disguise.

"There's no pain. It's just more me being tentative," he said. "I can't really let my arm get deep, and I can't chase balls off the plate. I'm not swinging on that pitch. I've had it called on me a couple times, unfortunately, but it helps keep everything in a power position. It's made my swing more efficient, to tell you the truth."

Scott, who is in his first season as a regular DH, said that he's never surprised when his home runs come in bunches. Still, it's not easy to explain how he hit more than half of his season total (11) in one week.

"I expect to do well whenever I'm in the lineup every day," he said. "I've had streaks similar to this in the Minor Leagues when I've played every day. It's not a surprise where I thought I could never do this. I knew I could do it. I've always believed that. It's just getting the opportunity and just having things fall in your favor."

Manager Dave Trembley said that Scott has adjusted well to his new role, and he also said that he's seen enough of the left-handed hitter's exploits to not be surprised when he goes off on another tangent.

"Tremendous offensive week. It's good to have him back and healthy," Trembley said. "I saw it in Spring Training. I saw him in intrasquad games. He's a streak hitter. That's just the way he is. I hope he continues that approach."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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