Avila leading way for Tigers in September

Avila leading way for Tigers in September

DETROIT -- In September, the Tigers' leader in batting average and on-base percentage isn't a usual suspect.

Catcher Alex Avila leads the club with a .462 batting average and a .533 on-base percentage, and is 9-for-15 (.600) with three doubles, five runs scored and three RBIs over his last four starts entering Friday night's game against the Royals.

"He's definitely swinging better, there's no question about that," manager Jim Leyland said. "Hopefully, he can keep that going. That would be a big help for us down toward the bottom [of the batting order]."

It has been a tough year at the plate for Avila, but his 12 hits this month are the most he's had except for July (18) and April (13).

"[Against] right-handers in particular, we have Omar [Infante] and him down there swinging the bat good," Leyland said. "That really helps."

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.