ST. PETERSBURG -- Quintin Berry came to the Tigers with a reputation as a decent -- but not great -- bunter. But he also didn't hesitate to try. He got his first Major League hit on a bunt attempt that he popped up so strongly that it cleared the infield in Cleveland, allowing him to leg out a double.
After Thursday's roller that hugged the first-base line, Berry now has more bunt hits (five) than the rest of the Tigers combined (four). He entered Friday tied for third in the American League behind the Angels' Erick Aybar (14) and Minnesota's Ben Revere (six).
"I would say he's pretty good at that," manager Jim Leyland said. "I think he got a bunch of bunt base hits last year. It's part of his game. I'm sure he'll try to bunt at some point tonight."
Berry got the start against Rays lefty David Price over Brennan Boesch and Danny Worth in part because he could reach base on a bunt, despite the lefty-on-lefty matchup. Berry moved down to ninth in the order for it, but he got his chance.
Take away the bunt hits, and Berry would be batting .272. Instead, he entered Friday batting .316.