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Inge set to return to Tigers

The Sports Xchange

Brandon Inge is coming back to Detroit, probably to start Saturday at third base against Cleveland's left-handed starter.

Detroit announced after beating Cleveland, 4-1, it was bringing Inge back to the majors, optioning Andy Dirks back to Toledo to make room for him on the roster.

"We're going to face four or five left-handers prior to the first (of September)," manager Jim Leyland said. "That would eliminate Dirks automatically, probably.

"The way we're playing (Brennan) Boesch and Delmon (Young) and A.J. (Austin Jackson) right now, Dirks is going to go down and get 40-50 at-bats. He will definitely be back September 1st. This is really not a demotion, this is just a situation where we felt it was important.

"Inge is hitting .400-something off left-handed pitching. So we're just going make that move right now."

Inge, outrighted to Toledo at the end of July because of his .177 batting average, accepted the assignment and went down to hit .287 with seven home runs and 19 RBI in 29 games for the Mud Hens.

Inge will essentially platoon at third with Wilson Betemit, acquired to replace him just before the trade deadline.

Leyland will also use Inge as a late-inning defensive replacement. That effectively squeezes Don Kelly out of the third base picture, but he now inherits Dirks' late-inning defensive outfield role.

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