Jeremy Bonderman turned in the best performance of his young career his last time out. Now, he’ll have to face a pitcher who has made a career out of those types of outings.
Bonderman scattered seven hits in a 7-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday. He struck out a career-high 14, two shy of the club record. Only Milwaukee’s Ben Sheets, who struck out 18 on May 16, has recorded more in a game this season.
Bonderman, who went 6-19 last season after spending just one season playing Class-A ball in Oakland’s organization, also became the first Tigers pitcher younger than 22 to throw a shutout.
“We’ve seen signs of this,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “It doesn’t anoint him, but it just goes to show you what we’ve been talking about, and why he deserves to be here.
“For a 21-year-old kid, that was pretty special. That’s going to rank way up there among the better performances in Tigers history.”
The win snapped a four-decision losing streak for Bonderman, who hadn’t won since July 7 against the New York Yankees. He threw 114 pitches, 82 for strikes.
“I totally just went to the basics and went after guys,” he said. “I was not thinking about anything. I should’ve been doing that all year, but sometimes you get in a funk and you start thinking.”
Despite the loss, Martinez struck out 10 batters, reaching double figures for the 98th time in his career to move past Sandy Koufax for fourth on the all-time list. He has recorded at least 10 strikeouts a team-record 71 times for the Red Sox and in four of his last five starts.
The Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers for their 10th win in 11 games, but slugger Manny Ramirez fouled a pitch off his left knee and left the game. X-rays were negative, and Ramirez, who leads the AL with 34 homers, is listed as day-to-day.
Closer Keith Foulke, who reported stiffness earlier in the day, got the night off for the Red Sox, who moved a season-high 21 games over .500
Craig Monroe homered for the Tigers, who lost for the third time in five games.
STANDINGS (through Aug. 26): Tigers - 4th place, 11 GB, AL Central. Red Sox - 2nd place, 5 1/2 GB, AL East.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Bonderman (7-10, 5.67 ERA). Bonderman is 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA in three career starts against the Red Sox.
RED SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Martinez (13-5, 3.78 ERA). Martinez is 5-0 with a 2.72 ERA in nine career starts against the Tigers.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Tigers - Ivan Rodriguez, .333 avg.; Carlos Guillen, 20 HRs, 94 RBIs and 92 runs; Alex Sanchez, 19 SBs. Red Sox - Ramirez, .316 avg. and 34 HRs; David Ortiz, 112 RBIs; Johnny Damon, 99 runs and 14 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Red Sox, 4-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Tigers - C Rodriguez was held out of the lineup Friday with a cold. … OF Rondell White missed Friday’s game to nurse a strained left hip flexor heal. He could return Saturday, but Trammell said he could also get the rest of the series off. … RHP Bonderman is 4-4 with a 5.67 ERA in 13 appearances, including 12 starts, on the road this season. Red Sox - C Jason Varitek returned Friday from a four-game suspension for pushing New York Yankees SS Alex Rodriguez in the face. … 3B Bill Mueller was held out of the lineup Friday after twisting his right ankle the previous day. … An MRI on 1B Doug Mientkiewicz showed no structural damage in his left shoulder. He is day-to-day.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Tigers - 28-36 on the road; Red Sox - 42-21 at home.
INJURIES: Tigers - OF Sanchez (quadriceps), 15-day DL; RHP Nate Cornejo (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Fernando Rodney (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Chris Spurling (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Lino Urdaneta (elbow), 60-day DL; 2B Fernando Vina (hamstring), 60-day DL; OF White (hip), day-to-day. Red Sox - INF David McCarty (wrist), 15-day DL; INF Pokey Reese (rib cage), 15-day DL; INF Kevin Youkilis (ankle), 15-day DL; OF Trot Nixon (quadriceps), 15-day DL; LHP Lenny Dinardo (finger), 15-day DL; RHP Reynaldo Garcia (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Jason Shiell (elbow), 60-day DL; LHP Brad Thomas (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Williamson (forearm), 60-day DL; OF Ellis Burks (knee), 60-day DL; 3B Mueller (ankle), day-to-day; 1B Mientkiewicz (shoudler), day-to-day; OF Ramirez (knee), day-to-day.