DETROIT -- Brennan Boesch's second-inning single Saturday extended his hitting streak to a career best of 12 games. During the first 11 games of the streak, he went 13-for-40 (.325). It also raised his batting average to .237, his highest point since April 18, which is also the last time the Tigers won back-to-back games.
Debate all you want how much Boesch's success ties into that of the Tigers, but it's hard to call it a pure coincidence.
"I hold my ground forever with Brennan Boesch," manager Jim Leyland said. "I love him to death. I think he's got a high ceiling. I don't feel any differently than I have about that. He's one of my favorites. ...
"On the other side of that coin is I'm working real hard, as well as some of the coaches, to just try to get him to learn the knack of relaxation. He's a very intense guy, very serious -- which there is nothing wrong with -- but I'd like to see him relax a little bit more at this level. But he's doing OK. He's better than that. There's more there."
That relaxation part played a partial role into Leyland's decision to move Boesch out of the second spot in the order, though Leyland said Saturday they wanted Andy Dirks up there for better production in front of their big hitters. Boesch's hitting streak began the day after he moved out of the second spot.
Boesch doesn't sound like the move has made a big difference in his approach, but he understands.
"I don't wake up in the morning saying I hope I bat eighth today," said Boesch, who has moved up to seventh the past few days. "It's not the most desired spot in the lineup, but I can't control that. If that's where I'm going to help the team most on that day, then that's where I'll be. I really don't think about it that much, to be honest."