Though Laird didn't start on Saturday against his former Texas teammate, Brandon McCarthy, he started three of the previous four games in Avila's place, going 3-for-11 in the process and actually lowering his batting average to .300.
Laird scored the first of Detroit's four runs on Friday, reaching base on a Brandon Inge error in the third inning before scoring on a Miguel Cabrera single. He hit an opposite-field single on an 0-2 pitch in the fourth.
"I just think he's a little more comfortable," Leyland said Saturday. "For one thing, he's laid off high fastballs. He's done a pretty good job of being more selective and getting into strike counts."