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Tigers' Anthony Gose showing signs of breaking out of August slump

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Gose still has a lot to learn about stealing bases, though.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT -- Anthony Gose has been stuck in some kind of awful funk. He hadn't hit a double in nearly two weeks and in the last 10 games of August had no multi-hit games. Since Gose's last multi-hit game on Aug. 20, he'd been batting .220 entering Monday's game.

Knocking his first double since Aug. 25 wasn't just a relief, it was necessary on a personal level.

"It was nice," Gose said after Monday's 5-4 win over the Rays. "I needed that. You're like 'Whew, thank you. Yes. Thank you. Finally.'"

Gose finished 1-for-2 for the day but he also drew a walk and scored a run on Rajai Davis' two-run blast. And while it's his first double in a while, Gose has been quietly having good plate appearances for the last six games.

Since the start of September, Gose is batting .333/.440/.619 with three walks, a home run, and five runs scored in 25 plate appearances. Small sample size, sure. But it's a heck of a lot better than he'd been doing before Sept., and better than he did for the entire month of August.

If you factor in Aug., Gose was nearly at Mendoza Line, hitting just .207/.298/.337 with just two doubles, two triples, and two homers. In six games he's nearly matched that total from his previous 26.

Regardless of where the Tigers are in the standings, the team needs Gose's bat. Particularly when the team can't always afford a platoon situation in center field with Yoenis Cespedes out of the picture. Gose has been getting most of the reps at center while Davis fills in when needed, and that makes his bat increasingly important.

With Gose's bat picking back up, he'll need to focus on his baserunning -- particularly stealing bases. He has just one stolen base since Aug. 18, and he's been caught stealing on two occasions. And while he has 20 stolen bases for the season, he's also been caught a whopping 10 times.

Learning how to get better at that, however, is something that manager Brad Ausmus said Gose will just need to learn through trial and error. And that has nothing to do with his own speed, it just has to do with reading a pitcher and the counts.

"I think he's still learning how to steal bases," Ausmus said. "He's got the speed but there's a little bit of an art form to stealing bases. And when you're that fast, people are very aware of you, so you have to either learn to pick your spots or really learn to really read the pitcher.

"You can't outrun the baseball at the major league level like you can especially in the lower minor leagues. And we've talked to him about it quite a bit."