What a difference a year has made for Jeremy Bonderman.
Bonderman went 6-19 last season despite a mid-90’s fastball and an excellent sinker. The 21-year-old right-hander began this season 6-10 before turning the corner in August. However, he has pitched brilliantly in his last four starts, going 3-1 with 35 strikeouts and a 1.48 ERA.
Bonderman shut down the Royals in the second game of Thursday’s doubleheader, allowing six hits in eight innings to earn a 8-0 win. Kansas City only got one runner into scoring position.
Bonderman allowed seven runs in three innings in his only other start against the Royals earlier this year.
“He’s a completely different pitcher,” Kansas City manager Tony Pena said afterward. “I was very impressed. He threw 95 (mph) and had a good, tight sinker.”
The Tigers are hoping Bonderman can get them back on track against Cleveland.
The Tigers have lost four straight and six of their last seven games.
Cleveland has lost seven of its last 10, including the last two to the Oakland Athletics.
Barry Zito and three Athletics relievers combined to hold the Indians to six hits in a 1-0 loss to Oakland on Sunday.
Rookie right-hander Kyle Denney will make his major league debut for the Indians on Tuesday. Denney went 10-4 with a 4.14 ERA in 23 games for Triple-A Buffalo.