Chicago 1, Detroit 5 (box)
If this is indeed Jeremy Bonderman‘s final year with the Tigers, he’s doing his best to leave on a high note.
Bonderman retired the first 10 batters he faced last night before serving up a solo homer to Omar Vizquel in the fourth. He then retired the final eight batters he faced en route to his eighth victory of the season in what may have been his most impressive start.
The Tigers offense was without Johnny Damon and Miguel Cabrera but they took advantage of a costly error by Mark Teahen. After Ryan Raburn singled to start the fourth, Brennan Boesch popped out. The next batter, Casper Wells, hit a one-hopper to Teahen who made a nice play to field the smash. Teahen’s throw to second sailed into right field, however, and instead of an inning-ending double play, the Tigers had runners at the corners with just one out.
It was the second error of the game for Teahen, but this time John Danks couldn’t work around it. He issued a walk to Jhonny Peralta which loaded the bases. Brandon Inge followed with a two-run single to give the Tigers the lead and two batters later, Alex Avila sent a long drive over the head of Alex Rios is center, scoring two more.
Things got a bit hairy in the fifth when Bonderman’s first pitch of the inning sailed over the head of Andruw Jones. During the remained of the at bat, one in which Bonderman would eventually strike Jones out, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was brooding about the pitch and was shown walking back to check the lineup card. It was no surprise when Danks fired his first pitch of the bottom of the inning past the head of Raburn. Warnings were issued, but no further action was needed.
Raburn took care of the retribution all on his own when he lined a doubled down the left field line on Danks’ next pitch. A ground ball moved Raburn to third and he scored when a swinging bunt by Wells was placed just well enough that Raburn beat the throw home.
That was all the offense would get, but it was far more than Bonderman would need.
Bonderman worked eight strong innings, allowing only three hits, two by Vizquel. He walked just one while striking out eight. He was never overpowering, but displayed good movement on his pitches and changed speeds with his breaking ball throughout the game.
All-in-alL. Bonderman’s dominance last night was every bit as good as Justin Verlander had been the night before, but the outings were vastly different. Bonderman worked like an artist, pitching his way through the lineup without much resistance. He did so with finesse while Verlander did so with force. Last night showed what kind of pitcher that Bonderman has been forced to become and more importantly, it showed that Bonderman has the ability to succeed with his new style.
The win, which was wrapped up in a tidy 2 hours and four minutes, puts the Tigers back at .500 on the season. Since falling below the break-even mark on August 3, the Tigers have gotten back to level four times, each time losing the next game. Detroit will try to climb back over .500 this afternoon and will try to win the series against Chicago. Gavin Floyd and Rick Porcello will be the starters.