ST. PETERSBURG -- Jhonny Peralta said he's playing like he did last year, when he barely missed a .300 season to go with 21 homers and 86 RBIs. He's far off pace for all of those numbers this year, but he feels like he's poised for a better second half.
Peralta's three hits Wednesday against Texas raised his June average to .307 (23-for-75). He has nine extra-base hits for the month, but none of them are home runs. He hasn't homered since May 29 in Boston.
He has had a handful of drives to the warning track for outs. By contrast, his three hits Wednesday were all easy drives off Roy Oswalt, including a two-run double to left in the fifth inning.
"I'm still the same guy," Peralta said. "I know what I have. I feel the same this year. The only difference is I hit some balls good, but straight at somebody."
Dirks' return before break unlikely
ST. PETERSBURG -- Tigers outfielder Andy Dirks will have his right Achilles tendon examined on Friday in Detroit, which will determine whether he can resume physical activities.
The Tigers are hoping for a bit of good news on an injury that has now sidelined their left fielder for close to a month. What was once believed to be a day-to-day situation has lingered far longer than imagined -- to the point that a return before the All-Star break would appear unlikely.
Dr. Chris Zingas, the Tigers' foot and ankle specialist, will perform the checkup.
Dirks was batting .328 with four home runs and 16 RBIs through 37 games before the injury.