Bonderman looks to win his eighth straight start Wednesday night when the Tigers conclude a three-game series against the Washington Nationals at RFK Stadium.
After failing to receive a decision in his first five starts, Bonderman (7-0, 3.92 ERA) has won seven straight outings. He is bidding to become the first Tiger to win eight consecutive starts since Dave Mlicki from Aug. 6-Sept. 13, 1999.
Although he wasn’t sharp for the second consecutive start, the right-hander was good enough to earn the victory Friday at Philadelphia. He allowed five runs and nine hits, including a career high-tying four homers, over six innings in a 12-8 win.
The right-hander has surrendered four runs or more four times during the seven-game streak, but the Tigers have supported him with 63 runs in that span.
Bonderman is 11-0 in 19 outings, including 1-0 in three playoff starts, since losing at Minnesota on Sept. 10.
The Tigers made quick work of the last-place Nationals on Tuesday, scoring three first-inning runs en route to a 15-1 rout.
Sean Casey hit his first home run of the season and drove in four for Detroit (41-29), which pounded out 17 hits and matched a season high for runs.
“I can’t tell you how many sleepless nights I’ve had thinking, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. I’ve got to get one here soon,’” said Casey, who had gone 211 at-bats this season without a homer. “It was nice to get it out of the way.”
It was the fourth win in five games for the Tigers, who have scored at least 10 runs six times in 17 games this month.
Detroit has won six of seven on the road, and leads the majors with 23 wins away from home.
Casey continued to hit well against the Washington/Montreal franchise. His .400 batting average (76-for-190) against it is the best among active players.
“I always enjoyed hitting at Olympic Stadium,” Casey said. “It’s funny. I think sometimes you just end up hitting well against certain clubs than other clubs.”
Gary Sheffield continued his outstanding June with two hits and three runs scored Tuesday. He is batting .375 (24-for-64) with five homers, 19 RBIs and 19 runs this month.
Washington (30-41), which has allowed 24 runs in the first two games of this series, has lost four of five after winning five of six.
“That’s the best team we have played so far,” Washington manager Manny Acta said. “They’re the best hitting team in the world. … It’s no coincidence that that club was in the World Series, and I wouldn’t bet against them being there again.”
Brandon Watson will join the Nationals for this game and is expected to see playing time as a backup outfielder. Watson had his International League-record 43-game hit streak snapped Monday.
Watson takes the place of Robert Fick, who left the team following the death of his mother, Gloria, from lung cancer.
Mike Bacsik (1-4, 4.59) hopes to avoid his fifth straight loss for Washington. Since winning at Cincinnati on May 24, the left-hander has lost four straight starts with a 6.43 ERA. He lasted only 4 1-3 innings Friday in a 7-2 loss at Toronto, yielding three runs, nine hits and three walks.
Bacsik hasn’t received much offensive support from his teammates, with the Nationals averaging 2.7 runs in his six starts.
He did have one of the best starts of his career against the Tigers while pitching for Texas on Aug. 4, 2004, scattering four hits over seven innings in an 8-0 victory.