Peralta slowly coming around

Peralta slowly coming around

Peralta slowly coming around
DETROIT -- Just prior to the All-Star break, Tigers manager Jim Leyland named Jhonny Peralta as one of three players -- the others being Ryan Raburn and Delmon Young -- who needed to make more of an impact for the team to get rolling.

Peralta, who hit .246 in April and .241 in May, started well behind his pace from 2011, when he hit .279 and .354 in those months on his way to being named an American League All-Star.

It seems, at least for now, Peralta's responded to the manager. Over the past month and a half, Peralta is batting exactly .300 and although his average still sits at .266, he's raised it nearly 30 points.

"I started really slow and everything," Peralta said. "It happened to a lot of the players and I never gave up. I try to keep working hard every day and be positive. And that's what I'm doing right now. ... I try to look at the ball better, how the pitcher throws to me. And I hit a lot of balls good and everything. Sometimes [I didn't have] a lot of good luck. But I feel good."

One aspect of his game that hasn't quite come around is the home runs. Peralta hit 21 last season and is well off that pace with six through 91 games. However, the shortstop is trying not to concern himself with power.

"I know I don't hit home runs like last year, but I don't try to worry about it too much," he said. "We have a lot of guys that can hit the ball. I try to forget about home runs and try to hit for average."

There wasn't much happening with the Tigers' offense Tuesday as they were shut out for the first time in 158 games. But with a single in the seventh inning, Peralta extended his hitting streak to seven games. He's 10-for-24 (.417) with three doubles, two home runs and all eight of his RBIs in July during that span.

Despite being 1-for-14 with seven strikeouts vs. Angels southpaw C.J. Wilson, who got the start on Wednesday, Peralta was penciled into a lineup that featured a number of regulars getting a day off. Quintin Berry, Alex Avila and Ramon Santiago all sat, being replaced by Raburn, Gerald Laird and Danny Worth.