Fans have become impatient with the Tigers backstop and understandably so. Avila's average has been under .200 for most of the season. He would show flashes of emerging from his season-long malaise, only to slump again.
Perhaps the latest flash of offense is finally a sign of things to come. Monday night in Cleveland, Avila was bumped up to 7th in Jim Leyland's lineup. The absence of Jhonny Peralta for the remainder of the season will burden the bottom third of the order. Someone needs to step up, and it appears Avila may be the guy.
In July, Avila took a step forward, hitting .269 with 19 RBI's, making it his most productive month of the season. Despite his low average, he has provided the Tigers with three of the club's most dramatic hits this season, all homers, all game winners.
While his ninth inning long ball to beat Houston in May and his grand slam against Stephen Strasburg on the last home stand were clutch, last night's three run shot off Chris Perez may have been his biggest.
"We got to their bullpen and put some good swings on the ball," Avila said after the game. "I got one."
Actually Alex, you've gotten three this year. I just proves that even in the throws of a frustrating season, baseball will always provide you with an opportunity to be a hero.