DETROIT -- With the All-Star break passed, it wouldn't have seemed right without Ryan Raburn putting on his annual strong second-half performance.
Raburn has been a career .309 hitter in August, sandwiched around a .271 average in July and .296 in September and October -- compared to a .220 average from April to June. That common second-half surge is back again, as Raburn has hit .375 (9-for-24) since the break entering Thursday.
Raburn has been maligned with his average floating around the .200 mark for much of the year, but that has risen to .227 in the last month. He has no idea where his second-half surges seem to come from each year.
"I have no idea," Raburn said. "If I knew, I'd start in the beginning. It's just a battle every day. It's a long year. You can't really worry about what happened in the past, you just have to keep moving forward, and the way I look at it, it can't get any worse."
In nine games since Carlos Guillen returned to take over second base, Raburn went 8-for-20 with two home runs. No longer an everyday player, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Raburn is "probably better" when he's kept fresh and used the right way.
There is no better example of that than Wednesday night, when Raburn got his first three-hit game of the season and hit a solo home run in the eighth inning that proved to be the difference. He was back in the lineup on Thursday.
"I feel good up there," Raburn said. "I've felt good the last couple weeks, so things are starting to click a little bit and balls are finding holes."