Luke missed nearly three weeks of action this month after pulling a hamstring during a home run trot on June 30, and it looked like the resurgence that had boosted his average from .177 on May 4 to .274 at the time of his injury would be stalled. Instead, he came back from the layoff as locked-in as he had been before. The Oklahoma State product earned American League Player of the Week honors for his efforts over the past seven games: 13-for-27 (.481) with six runs scored, three doubles, four home runs, and eight RBI. His OPS was a tidy 1.537. You've really got to do something to get noticed when your club is thirty-odd games under .500 and loses five out of seven games during the week in question, and that stat line certainly qualifies.
Shockingly, the O's lost again tonight, 9-5, with a comeback from an 8-0 deficit falling short. Luke had one measly hit...a two-run homer that gave him six round-trippers in his last nine games played and a team-leading 17 overall. He's got a good shot at establishing a career high in home runs for the fifth straight season. Last year, he hit 25. Nine more to go; as we've seen, that's a couple good weeks for Luke.