Detroit Tigers get slugger Christin Stewart back as Jordy Mercer hits injured list

Stewart was team's best hitter through first 16 games

Christin Stewart hits a home run against the Minnesota Twins during a game on April 13, 2019, at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

DETROIT - The Detroit Tigers got one of their best hitters back Thursday as outfielder Christin Stewart was activated from the injured list.

Shortstop Jordy Mercer was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right quad strain, making room for Stewart to rejoin the team.

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Stewart was the Tigers' best hitter early in the season, hitting three home runs, five doubles and a triple in 16 games and posting an .831 OPS. His seven walks were also among the team leaders when he got hurt.

He was also a clutch hitter for the Tigers, delivering a game-winning home run in extra innings on Opening Day and a game-winning grand slam against the Royals when the Tigers were trailing.

Stewart hasn't played since April 17. In the nine games before he went on the injured list, Stewart was batting .344 with a 1.155 OPS, eight extra-base hits, three walks and eight strikeouts.

The Tigers offense has struggled greatly during his absence, scoring the fewest runs in the American League and ranking 13th in OPS.

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This will be Mercer's second stint on the injured list after he missed the second half of April. Since his return, Mercer is 3-20 with a home run, two walks and two strikeouts.

Stewart is not in the starting lineup Thursday as the Tigers try to win their series against the Los Angeles Angels at Comerica Park. Niko Goodrum is playing left field and Gordon Beckham is playing shortstop.

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