A weird thing happened in the middle of last week as the Indians right fielder took his defensive position late in a victory over the Phillies.

Fans seated in nearby sections stood up and saluted with raucous applause and chants of "RA-BURN! RA-BURN!"

"I couldn't stop smiling," Ryan Raburn said, while smiling again, during a pregame conversation Friday night in the Progressive Field clubhouse. "From getting booed every night to people actually cheering for you, that was really refreshing."

Around here, we know the tale well. Raburn was the Tigers fans' whipping boy much of last year, serving his term between Brandon Inge and current president of the club, Don Kelly.

But these days, he's the toast of Cleveland, following a historic three-game surge in which he went 11-for-13 (.846) with four home runs, nine RBIs and — more surprising to Tigers fans who've seen him get hot at the plate in Detroit, but also assist a ball over the fence with the glove for a homer — a leaping catch against the right-field wall.

It's the offense, though, that has folks on the shores of Lake Erie raving about Raburn, or "Raking Ryan Raburn," as teammate Nick Swisher insisted a Detroit reporter refer to him at some point during this story.

Raburn, according to Elias Sports Bureau, became just the fourth player in 75 years to have at least 11 hits and four homers in a three-game stretch, joining Hall of Famers Duke Snider (1955) and Kirby Puckett (1987), as well as Shawn Green (2002).

No wonder there were some puzzled looks around the clubhouse when the question was posed: Seen anything like this?

"Only in the minor leagues," Swisher said. "Not up here, bro. This cat raised his average like 300 points!"