DETROIT, Mich. – It hasn't been the year that Brandon Inge wanted it to be, but he's back where he always wants to be.
The former VCU baseball standout was recalled from Triple-A Toledo and will rejoin the Detroit Tigers for the stretch run of the 2011 season.
"Going down to Toledo was a pleasant change for me, I stopped thinking and just enjoyed playing the game of baseball," Inge told the Detroit media on Saturday. "I was definitely feeling a lot of stress before I got sent down, I wanted to do everything I could to help the team each night and the harder I tried the worse it got. I'm just glad to be back to being myself. I just want to help this team win."
The longest tenured Tiger made his MLB debut back in 2001 and has seen the organization grow from a basement dweller into a perennial contender in the American League Central. He was named an All-Star in 2009 after blasting a career-high 27 home runs and driving in 84 runs for Detroit.
However, 2011 was not how the former Ram envisioned, hitting just .177 with one home run over the first 70 games of the year.
He accepted his assignment to Toledo to help get him back to form and the Lynchburg, Va. native did just that in 29 games with the Mud Hens. In 108 at-bats, he hit .287 with seven home runs, 19 RBIs and 18 runs scored.
Inge will rejoin the Tigers on Saturday, with the club holding a two-and-a-half game lead on the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central. The team has 48 games left on the regular season slate.