When the Tigers went on the road last week, Alex Avila stayed home and watched the games on television.
Avila, who was in the lineup for the Mud Hens' 6-3 loss to Lehigh Valley at Fifth Third Field Monday, wasn't happy about that.
"That's not my job," Avila said before Monday's contest. "My job is to catch. My job is to help our pitchers. And my job is to drive in runs and help the team win.
"So when you're watching the games at home and are not able to be a part of it, that drives you crazy."
Avila began a rehab assignment with the Hens Monday, catching the first five innings while going 0-for-2 at the plate with a fly out to the warning track in right and a strikeout.
"It was what I expected as far as where I was at physically," Avila said after the game. "I'm trying to build up my stamina. After not doing anything for a week and a half, [I went] running, catching, and throwing. It kind of felt like spring training.
"The first day it can be shocking to the body, but I felt pretty good."
PHOTO GALLERY: IronPigs at Mud Hens
Detroit placed Avila on the disabled list June 6 with a hamstring problem, and the 25-year-old catcher said the time off was good for his body.
"The week that I took off not doing anything -- just taking treatment in the morning, then staying off my legs -- let it heal," Avila said. "The week that I stayed home while the team was on the road was the best thing for it.
"Instead of trying to get back on it, it helped [heal it]."
Not only is his hamstring healed, the knee problems that slowed him in May are gone as well.
"I knew coming into this game, from what I was doing in Detroit, that my hamstring was good," Avila said. "I just wanted to make sure I could get it to where I could go 100 percent without thinking about it. The reason I am here is that I was able to get to that point. Now I just need to get into a good rhythm at the plate."
Avila, who also will catch the first five innings today against Lehigh Valley before serving as Toledo's DH Wednesday, said he expects to be able to come off the disabled list Thursday, the first day he is able to return to the Tigers.
"This was the first time I saw [live pitching] in two weeks," Avila said. "I saw some pitches, and I feel pretty good.
"A couple more days of good at-bats and I should be ready to go."
The visiting IronPigs broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run third that included a two-run double by Kevin Frandsen and an RBI double by Jason Pridie off Hens starter Andy Oliver.
"Oliver was OK," Hens manager Phil Nevin said. "He's got a little blister on his finger, which is why we cut him short. He threw more strikes. He just got hit."
Toledo scored single runs thanks to home runs by Ben Guez in the first and Zach Maggard in the sixth, but Lehigh Valley added a pair of runs in the top of the ninth to send the Hens to their seventh straight home loss.
NOTES: Nevin was ejected from the game for arguing a call at home plate. … The Mud Hens will add 1B-3B Jeff Baisley to the roster today. He is expected to take the spot of Brad Eldred, who was saying goodbye to teammates following the contest but would not comment on his next move.