Brandon Inge: Tigers assured return

TOLEDO, Ohio -- Brandon Inge says the Detroit Tigers assured him he'd be back in the majors by September when they sent him down to Triple-A Toledo last month.

Inge was designated for assignment July 20 when the Tigers acquired Wilson Betemit to play third base. Inge agreed to go to Toledo to try to work his way out of a season-long slump, but he says he was told by the Tigers he would at the very least be brought back when rosters expand at the beginning of next month.

"They told me, Sept. 1, I would be there," Inge said.

Later Tuesday night, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed the team's plan to bring Inge back by that date, saying that was Detroit's intention all along.

The 34-year-old Inge hit .177 in 70 games with Detroit this season, but he says he's feeling more relaxed down at Triple-A. He hit a home run in the second inning Tuesday night, his fifth in 20 games this year with the Mud Hens.

"I put myself in this spot, I'll try to fix it," Inge said.

Inge signed an $11.5 million, two-year contract after last season to stay with the Tigers, the only major league team he's played for. He's never hit for a particularly high average, but this season has been abysmal.

He's reached base every game since being demoted to the minors and hopes he can still help the Tigers, who are in first place in the AL Central.

"I've been having a ball," Inge said. "We've got a good group of guys here. ... I'm just trying to get myself back to where I can play every day up there again."