DETROIT — When Seth Smith smoked a Bruce Rondon out of Comerica Park in the rain Tuesday night, he brought to an end a 40-game stretch without a homer and a month without an RBI.
The homer came in his fourth game back in the starting lineup after taking a couple of days off to have some touch-up Lasik surgery on his eyes.
And it gives a suggestion that his 40-game stretch in which he averaged just .189 may be at an end, which could be great news for an A's team still scrambling to put together consistent offense.
``I can tell the difference in my vision,'' Smith said.
He'd had Lasik performed on his eyes earlier in his career, but he didn't realize until last week that his sight needed another boost.
``I can tell you that my confidence level in each at-bat is going up,'' he said.
Should Smith have gone out and have the procedure sooner?
``I was getting some hits when my eyes were bad,'' he said. ``But I didn't know until recently I needed to do it (Lasik) again.''
Smith's teammates say they can see the difference in Smith, not just in the home run, but also in the bullet he hit up the middle in the first inning Monday. That ball was speared by pitcher Anibal Sanchez but was as well-hit as any ball the A's hit in an 8-6 win Monday.
``It was something to see Seth go from struggling to turn on a 97-mph pitch like that,'' Brandon Moss said. ``His at-bats lately have been really good.
``I think the eye thing is huge for him. When you don't have your vision, you have trouble picking up the ball. You don't see the spin. You don't see the depth. And things don't go very well.''
Manager Bob Melvin said Smith's ``at-bats have been better; he's really been squaring the ball up'' since he returned from the surgery.
Smith said ``it only took a couple of minutes'' to have the surgery.
It may be that it could not have come at a better time for Oakland.