Short answers say it all sometimes

When asked Saturday why Austin Jackson is hitting better now than he did through the first month of the season, manager Jim Leyland replied, "He's putting it in play on a more consistent basis."

Nothing more than that?

Nothing more than that.

And not much more than that, according to Jackson.

"Staying positive," he labeled as the reason for the turnaround. "It's a big challenge when you're not doing your job, but I stayed positive I'd get through it."

Which it appears he has.

In the first inning of these last two games against Kansas City, Jackson has led off by homering on Friday, and singling to trigger a three-run inning on Saturday.

After the Tigers' 3-0 victory over the Royals, Leyland said, "Austin Jackson makes this offense go. When he's getting on base, feeling good and is energized like he is, that's good stuff.

"He's a big key."

Jackson's power isn't a key, though — despite his home run on Friday night.

As for putting the ball in play, it's true: Jackson's batting average zooms when he stays away from strikeouts and puts the ball in play.

Keep in mind that last year on balls in fair territory, Jackson outhit Miguel Cabrera, .408-.407.