CLEVELAND -- Quintin Berry had to spent six-plus years in the Minors to get his first chance in the Major Leagues. His first hit, a bunt double, had just as interesting of a journey.
"I was just trying to get it past [Indians first baseman Casey] Kotchman on the ground," Berry said after Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the Indians. "And I got it over."
The popup cleared Kotchman, but that was just the first part of the hit. Once the ball skipped past Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, Berry was on base. Once Kipnis slipped trying to recover, Berry took off for second and ran into Kipnis, who was called for interference.
"That was just a messed up play," Kipnis said.
Said Berry: "I was just hoping it would get down. I didn't think it would get past him."
The play came hours after Berry arrived at Progressive Field from Triple-A Toledo, just an hour and a half by car to get to the big leagues at long last. It only felt like much longer than that.
"I was smiling all the way up here, and feeling like I was never going to get here," Berry said before making his big league debut on Wednesday against the Indians. "My wife was in the back. She had coffee and she was going, talking and smiling.
"It seemed like four or five hours. Every time somebody got in front of me, I was getting upset, trying not to go too fast."
Realistically, it was a six-year trip up to the big leagues for Berry, who was drafted in 2006 out of San Diego State. He bounced from the Phillies organization to the Padres and then to the Reds last year before signing with Detroit in the offseason.
He hoped that his speed and hitting would earn him a role with a hot start, but he couldn't have imagined getting a shot quite this soon. Austin Jackson's abdominal injury and potential trip to the disabled list created the need.
How long Berry stays depends on Jackson. If Jackson is ready to return by Friday, then Berry's role would seemingly be gone, rendering him the odd man out when Ryan Raburn returns from the bereavement list. If Jackson isn't ready by then, he could go on the disabled list, keeping Berry in the Majors for at least another week.