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Watch Javier Báez crush a grand slam in Arizona

The Tigers’ shortstop has finally been heating up, and he kicked in the afterburners in the desert.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

He needed a moment like this. The introduction of Javier Báez to the Detroit Tigers’ fanbase has been rough, to say the least. After starting out hot, the mercurial shortstop went into a dreadful funk for nearly two months. The pain was real.

However, things have been better of late, and on Friday night in Arizona against the Diamondbacks, Báez came through with a huge blast in the third inning against right-hander Merrill Kelly. After two quiet innings, Eric Haase got things started with a ground ball single, and leadoff man Victor Reyes did the same. Riley Greene laced another hit to right, and the bases were jacked.

Javier Báez took a fastball in for a ball and then fouled another one off. As is his custom, he bit badly at a breaking ball down and away to run the count to 1-2. Kelly then made a big old mistake and dropped a curveball right down the middle at the bottom of the zone.

As Peter Kwasniak noted in his well-timed article this afternoon, Báez really has been rolling lately. After such a prolonged, brutal slump, it’s hard to trust that it will last long enough to counteract the funks. But the offense sure does look a lot different with him swinging it well.

The Tigers led 4-0 through three innings, as Rony Garcia settled in after a shaky start for a quick 1-2-3 frame after getting the run support, turning it back over to his offense in the fourth as of this writing.