They just take a while, that’s all.

On a night that rookie Robbie Ray, as the winning pitcher sprinkled a fine debut onto the Doug Fister deal to make it the most palatable it’s been since it was done, there was a sign of what’s probably to come.

But it didn’t involve Ray — who pitched well as the Tigers trounced the Astros, 11-4, for their seventh consecutive victory.

As you might expect in an 18-hit game, it was a good night for many Tigers. Danny Worth drove in three runs and scored twice. Ian Kinsler climbed back above .300 (to .308) with three hits.

Miguel Cabrera had the best game, though.

“An excellent game,” manager Brad Ausmus said.

His best of the season, in fact — and among his four hits, Cabrera hit a home run. That was the sign, folks — the auspicious sign.

Because it was to left-center.

Cabrera hadn’t hit a home run to the left side of center since April 4 — and, yes, you can say as some will, that it was “just” his third home run of the season.

But those more patient have been saying “just wait,” instead.

At this time a year ago, after 28 games, Cabrera had hit four home runs. The Tigers were 17-11 at the time, instead of the 19-9 they are now. They were in first place at the time, as they are now.

Other than his home run total, Cabrera’s numbers were routinely excellent.

He was hitting .368 with 30 RBIs. Nothing was out of sync — except his power.

That’s not been the case this season, though. Cabrera was hitting. 206 after 16 games. And after every game, for about a week, manager Brad Ausmus had to repeat that he wasn’t concerned, wasn’t worried, and that questions about Cabrera’s slow start said more about those asking about it than about Cabrera’s himself.

“I would have been surprised,” he said, “even if those asking the questions were concerned.”

The unspoken message, however, was “just wait.”

Wise message — because in his last 12 games, Cabrera has hit .396 with 16 RBI.