If Jeremy Bonderman does become the first pitcher in 23 years to lose 20 games, it won’t be because he hasn’t pitched effectively this season.
Just ask Detroit Tigers manager Alan Trammell.
“His record is not indicative of the way he has pitched this year, that’s for sure,” Trammell of his rookie right-hander.
Bonderman, just seven losses away from the infamous mark last accomplished by Oakland’s Brian Kingman in 1980, will try to build on his first win in more than two months as the Tigers open a two-game series with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
He allowed two runs and three hits in 6 1-3 innings as the Tigers pulled out a 4-2 win. The victory was Bonderman’s first since a 7-3 triumph over Tampa Bay on May 4, ending a stretch of 11 straight starts in which he had gone 0-9.
“I don’t keep track of dates and things—I didn’t know it had been since May,” the 20-year-old Bonderman said. “The way this season has gone for us, it is always nice to get a win.”
Bonderman has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 11 of his last 13 starts, but the Detroit offense has managed two runs or less in seven of those outings.
Detroit rookie Willie Ledezma was victimized in Sunday’s 10-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox, surrendering seven runs and 12 hits over 3 2-3 innings after putting up 12 scoreless innings in his previous two outings. The Tigers lost three straight to the White Sox after winning Thursday’s series opener.
The Red Sox salvaged the final two games of their four-game set with Toronto, including Sunday’s 9-4 rout.
STANDINGS: Tigers - 5th place, 28 GB, AL Central. Red Sox - 2nd place, 4 GB, AL East.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Bonderman (3-13, 4.88 ERA). Bonderman is 1-6 despite a 3.68 ERA in seven road starts this year. He suffered a 3-1 loss at Boston on June 23, yielding two runs and eight hits in six innings.
RED SOX PROBABLE STARTER: John Burkett (7-4, 5.25 ERA). Burkett has won four of his last five decisions, including a 5-3 win at Detroit on July 11. The veteran right-hander yielded three runs and four hits over seven solid innings, striking out four and walking one. Burkett owns a perfect 5-0 mark, including two wins this year, with a 4.65 ERA in seven career starts against the Tigers.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Tigers - Dmitri Young, .288 avg., 19 HRs, 52 RBIs and 48 runs; Alex Sanchez, 17 SBs. Red Sox - Bill Mueller, .328 avg.; Ramirez, 22 HRs and 72 RBIs; Garciaparra, 77 runs; Johnny Damon, 19 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Red Sox, 6-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Tigers - Detroit has lost six straight to Boston before a 3-0 victory at Comerica Park on July 13. … 1B Young left Sunday’s game in the seventh inning with a mild sprain of his right ankle. … Young is 6-for-16 (.375) with two homers and three RBIs in his career against RHP Burkett. Red Sox - SS Garciaparra has 14 errors this season. … Boston is 2-2 on its 11-game homestand, which will conclude with a crucial three-game set against the Yankees next weekend. … RHP Byung-Hyun Kim has not allowed a run in 11 1-3 innings since taking over as Boston’s closer earlier this month.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Tigers - 14-35 on the road; Red Sox - 30-14 at home.