Bonderman will try to avoid tying Maroth for the major league lead in losses when the hapless Tigers resume a four-game series with the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park.
Bonderman, who will not turn 21 until October, has dropped each of his last three starts to slip to 6-18. With Maroth at 6-19, the Tigers have two pitchers with a good chance at becoming the first 20-game losers in the majors since Oakland’s Brian Kingman in 1980.
On Thursday, Bonderman was pounded for seven runs—five earned—and nine hits, including three homers, over 4 2-3 innings in an 8-3 loss to the Indians at Jacobs Field.
Detroit manager Alan Trammell flirted with shutting Bonderman down for the season, but said Thursday he will not do anything out of the ordinary to prevent either Bonderman or Maroth from reaching 20 losses.
“If they lose 20, that’s the way it is,” Trammell said. “As of now, they are going to pitch because we don’t have a lot of options.”
The Tigers continued their march toward the 1962 New York Mets’ record of 120 losses with Monday’s series-opening 7-4 setback.
Ben Broussard belted a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning for Cleveland, which improved to 6-1 at Comerica this season while handing Detroit loss No. 102.
Indians outfielder Jody Gerut continued to take advantage of the Tigers’ poor pitching, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Gerut has driven in 25 runs in 15 games against Detroit this season.
STANDINGS: Indians - 4th place, 11 1/2 GB, AL Central. Tigers - 5th place, 38 1/2 GB, AL Central.
INDIANS PROBABLE STARTER: Cliff Lee (3-1, 2.67 ERA). Lee has provided the Indians with some hope for the future, winning three of his first four starts. The rookie left-hander allowed three runs and five hits over seven innings in Thursday’s 8-3 win over Bonderman and the Tigers. He has struck out 24 while walking only six in 27 innings this season.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Bonderman (6-18, 5.42 ERA). Bonderman is 0-3 with a 5.32 ERA in four starts against the Indians.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Indians - Milton Bradley, .321 avg. and 17 SBs.; Gerut, 18 HRs and 66 RBIs; Casey Blake, 69 runs. Tigers - Dmitri Young, .294 avg., 27 HRs, 71 RBIs and 67 runs; Alex Sanchez, 32 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Indians, 12-4.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Indians - The Indians activated RHP Jason Boyd from the disabled list on Monday. He had been sidelined with biceps tendinitis in his right shoulder. … OF Gerut is 3-for-8 with two homers and five RBIs against RHP Bonderman. … LHP Lee is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two road starts. Tigers - 1B Carlos Pena is mired in an 0-for-16 slump. … The Tigers activated C A.J. Hinch from the disabled list Monday and recalled him from a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Toledo, where he was recovering from a left groin strain. … Bonderman is 4-8 with a 5.11 ERA in 14 starts at Comerica this season.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Indians - 27-40 on the road; Tigers - 16-51 at home.
INJURIES: Indians - C Victor Martinez (ankle), 15-day DL; INF John McDonald (back), 15-day DL; OF Bradley (back), 15-day DL; RHP Jason Bere (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Dave Elder (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Bob Wickman (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Mark Wohlers (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Ricky Gutierrez (back), 60-day DL; OF Ellis Burks (elbow), 60-day DL. Tigers - INF Eric Munson (thumb), 15-day DL; 3B Dean Palmer (shoulder and neck), 60-day DL.