"I had a rough night last night, and I tried to shake it off," said Westlake, whose timing had been off since May 28, when his 1-for-23 skid at the plate began. "I was late in getting my hands ready. When that happens, my top hand doesn't work."
On Sunday, 10 fingers in sync led to a career-high seven RBIs. The Tigers' No. 18 prospect collected three hits, falling only a triple shy of the cycle in the Class A Whitecaps' 11-1 victory over the host Loons.
Coincidentally, Westlake's big blow in the game came in a critical situation. Slotted sixth in the lineup, the left-handed hitter lifted a three-run homer in the third inning against starter Ralston Cash.
"With a base open and two outs, as a hitter, you got to know they're not going to give you anything," he said. "He threw me a 3-1 changeup, left it up and I kept my hands back."
Westlake, Detroit's third-round draftee in 2011, also singled home a run in the first, was hit by a pitch in the fifth and doubled home two runs in the seventh. He grounded out in the eighth to complete his 3-for-4 day.
It was undoubtedly a welcome line in the box score. The former Vanderbilt standout entered play with a .211 batting average -- one point above his season low -- thanks to his .194 mark in May. He has a pair of three-hit games two months into season.
"Baseball is a game of failure," Westlake said. "The ones that are good, if they have a bad game, they brush it off."
He may delay pushing aside his seven-RBI total. Westlake more than doubled his previous single-game high: He drove in three on three occasions earlier in his career, most recently in a May 23 West Michigan win over Lake County.
"It's an accomplishment to have," said a nonplussed Westlake, who did enjoy a three-homer, six-RBI game that helped Vandy to the 2011 College World Series. "If there's a guy in scoring position [lately], I try to drive them in and don't.
"I'm trying to be consistent with my swing and not having these peaks and valleys."
Shortstop Eugenio Suarez helped the cause with his 4-for-6, three-run performance. Suarez collected the triple Westlake was missing.
Cash (0-1) gave up five runs on five hits over four frames.
Whitecaps starter Marcelo Carreno (2-4), a classic strike-thrower in Westlake's eyes, yielded one run on three hits and struck out six over five.