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Scott heating up over last month

ST. PETERSBURG -- Luke Scott entered Monday's action hitting .377 with 10 RBIs over his last 17 games since June 13. Of his 20 hits during that span, 11 have gone for extra bases.

He continued his hot hitting with a first-inning homer in Monday's 7-4 win over the Twins. It was his sixth home run of the year. He finished the night 1-for-4 with a strikeout.

As hot as he's been, Scott feels as though he's not in the midst of his hottest streak with the Rays.

In his first 23 games with the team in 2012, Scott hit .273 with six home runs and 21 RBIs.

"I would say [this year's hot stretch is] pretty good, [but] probably not the best," Scott said. "When I came out of the blocks last year, it was good, because my production numbers were better. I had more home runs.

"This year my batting average with runners in scoring position has been really good. ... It's different when you hit a grand slam and the next day hit a two-run double. That's six RBIs on two swings. In two days. You look overall this year, it's been more consistent. It just hasn't been the big bunches yet."

Rays manager Joe Maddon also felt as though Scott, who's batting .425 with men in scoring position, had experienced hotter stretches with the Rays.

"I've seen him really hot," Maddon said. "Last year at the beginning, he was really good. I think he's getting to that point again. I'd like to see it stay, man, because he does impact the baseball. He hits it to the gaps and drives in runs. He does all those different things. And again, it's just about his patience. When he's patient at the plate and makes the pitcher come to him, he hits the ball well."

Scott's recent work enticed Maddon to put him in the No. 2 spot in Monday night's batting order against the Twins. He'd been hitting either fifth or sixth.

"He's been a lot better with his decision making at the plate," Maddon said. "Of course he's been hitting the ball harder, and I think they're tied together."

Of note, the hirsute Scott is now sporting a rat tail cut, a fashion he has not employed since "... days of Peter Gabriel in the '80s." He explained the genesis of having one now.

"I had a Mohawk going," Scott said. "I was joking around with Ryan Roberts, and he was like, 'If you just shave that Mohawk and leave it on top, [you can] leave the tail in the back.' ... I said I'll try it."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for and Sam Strong is an associate reporter for
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