By Ashley Dunkak

CBS DETROIT – Reliever Blaine Hardy just missed out on making the 25-man roster, Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said earlier this week, so when the team had to place closer Joe Nathan on the disabled list, bringing up Hardy was a relatively easy call.

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“[Kyle Ryan’s] name was brought up, it was discussed, but really it came down to, when we were deciding the final spot on the roster in the bullpen, it was a discussion between Hardy and [Ian] Krol, and we ended up taking Krol, obviously,” Ausmus said, “so Hardy kind of was first on the pecking order moving down into Toledo’s pitching roster, and we do play Cleveland, which has a number of lefties. This gives us another lefty in the bullpen.”

Hardy received the news while on a bus to Louisville with the rest of the Toledo Mud Hens. While Hardy could not recall exactly where the bus was when the call came – “half the time I don’t even pay attention to where we’re at, it’s just the bus is moving, and it stops, and we’re where we’re supposed to be” – he said about three hours remained on the trip.

His teammates reacted predictably.

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“They were giving me crap for not even playing one day with them,” Hardy said.

The original plan to get Hardy to Detroit for Thursday’s game was to put him on a flight to Toledo and then have him drive to Detroit. Instead, Hardy ended up taking a flight straight to Detroit on Thursday morning and went to Comerica Park from the airport.

Hardy, who recorded a 2.54 ERA over the span of 38 appearances for Detroit last season, expected to be back in the big leagues at some point this season, but he did not think it would happen so quickly.

“I had my high hopes, knowing if I do my job I’ll make it back up here,” Hardy said Thursday. “I didn’t know I wasn’t even going to get to pitch in Toledo. Threw a bullpen down there; that was about it.

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“I figured I’d have to pitch in Toledo to at least prove that,” Hardy added, “but it’s good to be back.”