BALTIMORE -- In the midst of the most prolonged slump of his five-year Major League career, Luke Scott admits he has had many sleepless nights wondering what he's doing wrong. Following a 4-for-8 series against Seattle, in which he hit a solo homer Wednesday night and a decisive grand slam Thursday afternoon, Scott is feeling much better.
"[Wednesday] night I had a nice, although it was short, I had a good sleep," Scott said following Thursday's game. "Moments like this, it kind of makes you feel like you can breathe again."
That statement might seem like an exaggeration to some, but Scott takes his hitting and his performance very seriously.
"I'm confident that perhaps he's turning the corner," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said prior to Friday's game. This is a good phase of Luke Scott that we are beginning to see; comes at a good time for us."
It's one the Orioles continued to see in Friday's 8-1 series-opening win over the Indians. Scott delivered RBI singles in the third and sixth innings and has a five-game hitting streak, including three consecutive multi-hit contests. He had just one multi-hit game in his first 26 games and went through a miserable six-game stretch, where he went 1-for-19 with 10 strikeouts.
"I did everything I knew for me to do [to get out of the slump]," Scott said. "And sometimes, the Bible says, you have to be still and wait on the Lord. And take care of what you have control over, and I have been doing that."
While Trembley and Scott have both acknowledged that he is a hitter who is very susceptible to streaks, the Orioles hope the worst is over.
"That [skid is] out of the way for a while," Trembley said. "It may come back, it probably will, [but] let's hope the frequency is further down the road."
Added Scott: "This is the best I felt all year. There is no confusion when I am up there [in the batter's box]. I am comfortable; I am just really relaxed."
Scott has hit .450 with three homers and eight RBIs in his last five games, raising his average to .232 on the season. He hit .194 with two homers in 21 games in April.
Datz filling in as first-base coach
BALTIMORE -- Orioles first-base coach John Shelby missed Friday's series opener against the Indians as he was being inducted into the Henry Clay High School Hall of Fame in Lexington, Ky. Shelby was a 1976 graduate of Clay High, where he starred in baseball and basketball.
Bench coach Jeff Datz coached first base in Shelby's place and was going over some signs pregame with third-base coach Juan Samuel. Datz's previous first-base coaching experience coincidentally was with Cleveland from 2003-05. Prior to joining the Orioles, Datz spent eight years in the Indians organization in several different roles. So, was he nervous about his Orioles debut?
"Nope, just hoping nobody gets picked off," Datz said with a smile.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.