Boston (32-20) at Detroit (36-19)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Detroit, MI
Temp: 77° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Sat Jun 3, 2006
  • TV: NESN, WMYD
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Jeremy Bonderman and the Detroit Tigers can’t seem to get a break at home.

Bonderman (5-4, 4.61 ERA) looks for better results at Comerica Park when his Tigers continue their three-game weekend series with the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.

The Tigers (36-19) own baseball’s best record despite dropping five of their last six games and going 3-5 on their 10-game homestand. Detroit’s road record is a major league-best 20-7, but the Tigers are just 16-12 at Comerica Park.

All four of Bonderman’s losses this season have come at home, where he is 1-4 with a 6.83 ERA in five starts. The 23-year-old right-hander is 4-0 with a 3.05 ERA in six road outings.

Bonderman did not allow an extra-base hit on Monday against the New York Yankees, but gave up four runs and eight hits—including several grounders and bloops—in 7 1-3 innings of a 4-0 defeat.

“They found holes,” said Bonderman, who has received no runs of support in his last three losses.

Bonderman is 2-1 with a 5.19 ERA in three career starts against the Red Sox, with both wins coming last season.

He will also be taking the mound as a father for the first time. Bonderman’s wife Amber gave birth to their first child, Mailee Blaize, on Thursday.

With the Red Sox (32-20) trailing 2-1 with two outs in the ninth inning of Friday’s series opener, first baseman Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run homer off Tigers closer Todd Jones. Boston held on for a 3-2 victory as Jones suffered his second loss in four days.

“Not everyone can be Mariano Rivera,” said Jones, who pitched for the Red Sox in 2003. “Sometimes you’re the windshield, and sometimes you’re the bug.”

Boston’s last four wins have all come by two runs or fewer. Friday’s victory was the Red Sox’ major league-leading ninth come-from-behind win this season.

“This is a tough way to win games,” manager Terry Francona said. “You just try to stay at it in case someone pops one.”

The win enabled the Red Sox to maintain their half-game lead over the New York Yankees in the AL East. Boston has held at least a share of the division lead since May 14, and has not trailed by more than one-half game all season.

Red Sox center fielder Coco Crisp went 2-for-3 with a run scored and a stolen base Friday. He has had at least one base hit in all 10 games he has played this season, and has scored at least one run in seven of them.

Crisp is a .380 (38-for-100) career hitter at Comerica Park. He has reached base safely in all 25 games there in which he’s had a plate appearance.

Tim Wakefield (4-6, 4.07) looks to build on his best outing of the season for the Red Sox. The 39-year-old knuckleballer threw eight shutout innings in Boston’s 5-4 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday, limiting the Devil Rays to five hits and one walk while striking out four.

Wakefield is 13-8 with a 4.43 lifetime ERA against the Tigers including wins in his last four starts versus Detroit.

Tigers right fielder Magglio Ordonez is 12-for-27 (.444) with one homer and five doubles in his career against Wakefield.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Wakefield Bos vs. J. Bonderman Det
7-11 Record 14-8
4.63 ERA 4.08
90 K 202
51 BB 64
1.33 WHIP 1.30