KANSAS CITY -- No more worrying about strikeouts. No more cutting down the swing or trying to massage the ball the other way. Brandon Inge claims he's back to his old way of hitting, which means trying to terrorize the baseball.
"I'm trying to pound it," Inge said. "What that does is put you in more of an aggressive state of mind."
Inge, who pushed himself through a rigorous strength program in the offseason, delivered the big blow Monday night with a two-run homer to right-center that lifted the Tigers to a 3-2 win over Kansas City. It was a flashback to the Inge who hit 27 homers in 2006 and 2009.
"Home runs, driving the ball into the gap ... that's the style of hitter I've always been," Inge said. "For some reason, in the last couple of years, I felt like I went to hitting the ball the other way and trying to cut down on strikeouts."
Inge, who hit .197 with three homers in 102 games last year, emphasizes that he's just interested in contributing to the ballclub and not on a mission to prove anything to his doubters.
"If people doubt me ... it means I must be on the radar screen," Inge said. "People are going to say what they want. The people I really care about are the 24 other guys on this team. I just want the opportunity to redeem myself."