Inge enjoyed his best game as a professional Friday, delivering a triple and a grand slam during the Tigers’ 11-run sixth inning outburst in a 17-3 rout of the Indians. Inge, a career .198 hitter entering this season, is batting an eye-opening .417.
“That felt good,” said Inge, whose slam was the first of his career. “I’m not a power hitter, so I was just looking to hit something into a gap, and I ran into one.”
With their 16-hit performance Friday, the Tigers picked up their 10th win in 17 games this season. Last year, the Tigers didn’t get their 10th win until May 22, when they were 10-35.
Inge believes part of his team’s newfound success has been its disciplined offensive approach. In fact, the Tigers drew seven walks during their big inning.
“From the beginning of the season, I could tell how much more patient this team has become,” Inge said. “Last year, we swung at the first pitch that was near the strike zone, but this is a better team now, and we know how to wait for something to hit.”
Despite the blowout loss, the Indians also got some good news Friday, when they learned that starter C.C. Sabathia will only miss about a week because of his arm injury. Sabathia, who was scratched from his start Thursday with a strained biceps tendon, was able to play catch without pain Friday and could be back in the rotation by next weekend.
“We examined him this morning and he looked and felt great,” said Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff. “At this point, though, we want to take every precaution possible for his long-term health.”