Nothing in big-league baseball is new for Torii Hunter. Not after 17 years.

And among the been-there done-that events are slumps.

Hunter has a pretty good one going: 6-for-37 since Aug. 30 which has sent his batting average spinning from .308 to .298. He was 0-for-4 during Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

“When you’re struggling you’re always going out of the zone” said Hunter speaking of pitch selection that can get-out-of-bounds when hitters are trying to chop their way out of a batting lull. “I’ve been playing a long time. And that’s the pattern.”

Hunter was rocking and rolling on Aug. 29 when his three-run homer in the ninth gave the Tigers their signature victory of the season 7-6 over the A’s at Comerica Park.

He was cruising with his .308 average and on his way to perhaps matching last year’s .313 prize-winner when he played for the Angels.

But as all hitters will tell you in 2013 – particularly those who like Hunter have been around a while – big-league pitching is tougher and more relentless than it was even five or more years ago.

“Jon Lester was rough on me” Hunter said speaking of last week’s series against the Red Sox where a slump moved from its early stages to an all-out virus. “Lackey (John) too.

“I’m (mad) yeah. Because I’m proud and I want to do well.”

Jim Leyland understands. He also knows that September has something to do with it.

“Probably a little over-aggressive right now” said Leyland who doesn’t plan on resting the 38-year-old Hunter not with White Sox left-hander Chris Sale working Monday’s season-opener against the Tigers. “Everybody looks tired. Every team’s a little fatigued right now.

“It’s common to all teams -- whether you’re in first place or last place.”