When Alexis Gomez came back to the Mud Hens this week, he vowed to have a better return than his start.
Yesterday Gomez helped that cause, going 3-for-4 with four RBI in the Hens' victory over the Norfolk Tides. Gomez had a single, double and triple, walking in his last at-bat in the attempt to hit for the cycle.
"It was a day I needed," Gomez said. "I've been starting slow, but I hope to continue to do what I did [yesterday]. It was a great day."
Gomez played seven games with the Mud Hens at the beginning of the season and hit just .148 before his contract was purchased by the Tigers on April 15 to replace an injured Dmitri Young. In 13 games with the Tigers, Gomez hit .222 and scored eight runs.
"I think he's got to feel pretty good about himself this time," Hens manager Larry Parrish said. "He's been called up a few times before, but it was a struggle for him, he never seemed like he had gotten over the hump. But this time he played well up there, it was just a numbers game."
Out of options when Young returned, Gomez was designated for assignment last week. No team picked him up off waivers, which he preferred. He rejoined the Hens on Tuesday.
"I know my situation, I got called up because Dmitri [Young] got hurt," Gomez said. "I've got to do the best I can out there. I think I did a pretty good job, I think they were happy with me. But I was happy to come back here and play for my team."
ROSTER MOVE: Detroit pitcher Jordan Tata was optioned to Toledo after the Tigers' game in Baltimore on Wednesday night. Hens pitcher Roman Colon was re-called to Detroit.
In seven appearances for the Tigers, Tata was 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA.
Parrish said Tata likely will start tomorrow in Richmond for the Hens.
BUNTS: Mud Hens radio team Jim Weber and Frank Gilhooley will announce the Triple-A All-Star Game in Toledo on July 12. Weber and Gilhooley will partner along with Tacoma Rainiers radio announcer Mike Curto. Yesterday was the largest "school day" to date, with about 90 percent of the crowd of 10,300 being children, Mud Hens general manager Joe Napoli estimated. For yesterday's game and the final morning game on May 24, season-ticket holders gave up their seats and received vouchers in exchange. "Our concern today was the infrastructure around the park, but the police and sheriffs were tremendous," Napoli said.