Mud Hens outfielder JaCoby Jones doubles with an RBI against Buffalo during the fourth inning. BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
Outfielder Alex Presley spent 40 games with the Toledo Mud Hens to begin the season. Now, after contributing in the outfield for the Detroit Tigers for a large portion of the season, Presley finds himself back in Toledo on a rehab assignment.
After landing on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to July 27 with a right side strain, he says the injury held up in his first game action in more than two weeks on Wednesday against Syracuse.
Presley went 0 for 3 with two walks as the Mud Hens won 6-3 over Buffalo on Thursday at Fifth Third Field.
“It was good,” Presley said of his first game back. “No pain, so that’s the goal in the rehab, to get through and try to be healthy. I was pleased. I’m just seeing how it responds to the game the next day and today has been good. Just being able to play normally and not think about it is key, and I think I did that on [Wednesday].”
Presley served as the designated hitter on Wednesday before playing in centerfield on Thursday.
“He’s playing center field today,” Mud Hens manager Mike Rojas said before Thursday’s game. “Yesterday was four at-bats, that’s what they wanted him to do. He felt great and looked good and feels good. They are playing it by ear and making sure he gets his at bats and gets his timing down. They will make the call after that.”
Presley was with the Mud Hens from the April 6 opener until May 26, before the Tigers selected his contract from the Mud Hens on May 28.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Presley said. “Three or four games is kind of what is tentative. It just kind of depends on how everything goes. Probably best case scenario, what we talked about was three or four games.”
He has hit just .220 in his stint with the Mud Hens this season, but once he was called up to Detroit, he hit .313 with one home run, 15 runs scored, 11 RBI, and three stolen bases in 99 at-bats.
“It’s been good,” Presley said of this year. “I struggled here for a while and I’m not used to that here really. It’s one of those things that worked out and I got called up and made the most of the situation so far, so I look forward to getting back.”
On Thursday night, Omar Infante led off the bottom of the fourth with a double for the Mud Hens’ first hit of the game. After Efren Navarro and Jeimer Candelario struck-out, Tyler Collins laced a double to right-center field to bring home Infante. JaCoby Jones followed with an RBI single and the Mud Hens led 2-0 after four.
Navarro lined a two-out double down the third-base line to drive in Infante as the Mud Hens added another run in the bottom of the fifth and grabbed a 3-1 lead.
Bryan Holaday hit a two-run home run in the sixth to stretch the Hens’ lead to 5-1.
The Mud Hens’ Jeff Ferrell allowed two runs in the top of the ninth inning as Tellez drove in two more runs on a two-out single up the middle. He rebounded to strike out Teoscar Hernandez to close out the game.