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"It's only one game. Nothing changes," he said Tuesday, the day after his effort lifted the Tigers to a 7-3 win over the A's at Comerica Park. "I still have to go out there and do my job. It's only one game. We have to move forward and try to do something to win games."
Still, after an 0-for-13 slump lowered his average to .206 entering Monday's series opener with Oakland, and a homerless streak that dated back to the Tigers' home opener, he wasn't going to pretend it didn't mean anything.
"Yeah, when you don't have a hit for three weeks," Cabrera joked.
The difference wasn't health; Cabrera has been saying all season he feels good, with more power generated from his legs. It was more a matter of timing, getting his bat through the zone at a time to make better contact. It was also a matter of plate discipline.
"When you swing at a lot of balls and swing out of the strike zone, that's going to happen," he said. "You have to do adjustments every at-bat, every pitch. It's 162 games, so you have a chance to do adjustments and prepare for the next game."
Spending Sunday out of the starting lineup, as rare as it was, didn't hurt, either.
"Yeah, day off always helps," Cabrera said. "Even if people don't like it when you get a day off, you have to take a day off, because sometimes you have to clear your mind, sometimes you have to sit down and think like what you're doing wrong, see the game from the outside. You have a different idea what you're going to do the next day and what you're doing wrong, because when you're out there every day, you don't have time to think about what's wrong with my swing. You're feeling good and you see the ball good, too, but you want to swing at everything. You have to go out there and calm down a little bit and try to let it happen."
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.