Brandon Inge completed his three-day rehab assignment with the Mud Hens Thursday night in Toledo's 8-1 win over Louisville at Fifth Third Field. Here's a look at how Inge played ...
He handled a routine groundout to start the game, then handled a tough chance in the second when a grounder by Paul Janish was redirected by Hens starter Brooks Brown. Inge recovered to catch the ball cleanly and retire Janish.
In the third he handled a groundout and a soft liner, then in the fifth he made a difficult play look easy when Dioner Navarro hit a popup that flew down the rightfield line. Inge raced to the line and was standing still to catch the popup for the out.
In the seventh he showcased his strong arm to help the Hens turn a double play. With Bill Rhinehart on first base and one out, Janish hit a grounder to third that Audy Ciriaco bobbled slightly before throwing to Inge at second. Inge caught the ball standing on the base to retire Rhinehart, then threw a bullet to first to complete the double play.
In the eighth he made his best defensive play. Navarro led off with a grounder that Inge had to dive to stop. Inge righted himself to a seated position and then, while sitting, threw Navarro out at first.
Inge nearly added another highlight-reel play in the ninth when Chris Valaika hit a hot shot up the middle. Inge was able to dive to stop the ball from going into the outfield, but the ball rolled back to the infield too far for Inge to retrieve as Valaika was safe on a single.
"I had a couple of plays running both ways," Inge said. "Once I covered those, there really wasn't anything else [to test]. I had a couple plays backwards, and I'm happy where I am right now."
Inge was hitless in three at-bats Thursday, grounding out in the second, hitting into a fielder's choice in the third (with teammate Quintin Berry at third base, Inge hit a grounder to third; Berry was running on contact and was caught in a rundown), then was retired on a grounder to first base in the fifth.
Inge also walked in both the fourth and the eighth.
Inge finished 1-for-9 (.111) in his three-day rehab assignment with the Hens, with the pair of walks giving him a .417 on-base percentage (5-for-12).
"The timing will come back," Inge said. "I'm not worried about the results right now. When you're going through a rehab, getting timing, seeing the pitches and drawing walks is important. I really didn't get many good pitches to hit. They weren't throwing me much — which was kind of funny."
Inge said the key to his three days with the Mud Hens was to prove that the groin injury that forced him onto the Tigers' disabled list at the end of spring training now is healed.
"Really that's the only thing we were looking at," Toledo manager Phil Nevin said. "He was moving around well, and he's a great athlete. He was tested on some diving plays, and he looks as if he's ready to go."
Inge said that he will rejoin the Tigers Friday when they begin a series in Chicago against the White Sox.