Jeremy Bonderman doesn’t want to spend the last few weeks of his rookie season talking about the possibility of becoming the majors’ first 20-game loser in 23 years.
Instead, the 20-year-old right-hander would like to accentuate the positive.
Bonderman shoots for his third straight win when the major league-worst Tigers complete a three-game series with the defending World Series champion Anaheim Angels at Edison Field.
Bonderman, who is second only to teammate Mike Maroth (6-17) in losses this season, appeared a sure bet to match Brian Kingman’s dubious distinction of 20 losses with the Oakland Athletics in 1980. He was 2-13, and has lost nine straight decisions on July 3.
However, Bonderman, unlike the Tigers, has turned his season around, going 4-2 in his last six outings, including the first two-start winning streak of his young career.
On Tuesday, Bonderman limited the Texas Rangers to one earned run and four hits over seven strong innings, striking out six and walking two, to help the Tigers to a 7-4 win.
“I’m just trying to do my part, to give us a chance to win,” Bonderman said. “Wins and losses, sometimes you can’t control that, but that’s what the big leagues are all about. I think next year it’s going to be a totally different season for us. That’s when we start to turn it around.”
The Tigers have lost 10 in a row to the Angels, including Saturday’s 11-7 setback.
Garret Anderson had three singles for Anaheim, tying Brian Downing for the franchise record for career hits with 1,588.
The Angels have won five of six since dropping eight of nine.
STANDINGS: Tigers - 5th place, 32 1/2 GB, AL Central. Angels - 3rd place, 15 GB, AL West.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Bonderman (6-15, 5.15 ERA). Bonderman is making his first career appearance against Anaheim this year. He is 2-8 with a 5.37 ERA in 10 road starts.
ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: Ramon Ortiz (13-10, 4.72 ERA). After going 7-1 in eight starts from June 3-July 11, Ortiz has gone 2-4 in his six outings, including Tuesday’s 10-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox. The right-hander was reached for six runs—four earned—and eight hits in only 3 1-3 innings, marking the second straight outings he has failed to get through the fourth. Ortiz is 1-1 with a 5.49 ERA in three career starts against the Tigers.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Tigers - Dmitri Young, .283 avg., 24 HRs, 63 RBIs and 57 runs; Alex Sanchez, 27 SBs. Angels - Anderson, .317 avg., 26 HRs and 96 RBIs; Anderson and Tim Salmon, 64 runs; Adam Kennedy, 15 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Angels, 2-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Tigers - Detroit is 17-51 since June 1 and 31-90 overall—one win ahead of the 1962 Mets’ record losing pace after 121 games. The beleaguered Tigers have to go 15-26 the rest of the way just to match last season’s 55-106 record. … The Tigers are 1-5 on their seven-game road trip. … OF Bobby Higginson is 5-for-10 with a homer and three RBIs in his career against RHP Ortiz. Angels - Ortiz is 7-5 with a 4.82 ERA in 13 home starts this year. … Anaheim is 5-1 on its seven-game road trip. … OF Anderson, who made his big league debut in 1994, reached the record total in 546 fewer at-bats than Downing. … The Angels overcame a five-run deficit Saturday—their largest in any victory this season.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Tigers - 17-48 on the road; Angels - 36-29 at home.
INJURIES: Tigers - C A.J. Hinch (groin), 15-day DL; INF Eric Munson (thumb), 15-day DL; 3B Dean Palmer (shoulder and neck), 60-day DL. Angels - 1B-DH Brad Fullmer (knee), 15-day DL; 3B Troy Glaus (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Darin Erstad (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Wise (elbow), 60-day DL.