Tigers 7, White Sox 0
Bonderman struck out a career-high 14, walked one and scattered seven hits in his first career shutout, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 7-0 victory Monday night.
“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.”
Bonderman (7-10) threw his first career complete game to win for the first time since July 7. He was 0-4 in his previous eight starts.
The 21-year-old right-hander was 6-19 last year after jumping to the majors following one season at Class A with Oakland’s organization.
“He dominated,” Chicago’s Ben Davis said. “That’s the best stuff—hands down—I’ve seen all year.”
Bonderman was two strikeouts short of the club record—done by Mickey Lolich twice in 1969. His 14 strikeouts were the most since Lolich struck out 15 in 1972. The last Detroit pitcher 21 or younger to throw a shutout was Dan Petry in 1980.
“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.”
Carlos Guillen backed Bonderman’s outstanding start with a two-run homer for Detroit, which has won five of seven.
Contreras was so wild that several of his pitches hit the dirt before reaching the plate.
“He struggled with control,” said Davis, his catcher. “It all starts with strike one and he was falling behind guys.”
The White Sox, who have lost five straight, were a season-high 10 games above .500 on July 24 and leading the AL Central. Since then, they have lost 20 of 28 with Frank Thomas (ankle) and Magglio Ordonez (knee) out with injuries.
One day after the White Sox’s record dropped below .500 for the first time since they were 1-2, they fell two games under for the first time since July 20, 2003.
“Mathematically we are still there, but the way we play, it’s going to be hard for us to come back,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, who plans to shake up the lineup.
Chicago got runners to third in the second and third innings, then didn’t have a runner past first until the eighth.
White drew a leadoff walk in the fourth, and scored on Guillen’s team-leading 19th homer. With two on and two outs, Contreras walked two in a row to force in another run, giving the Tigers a 5-0 lead.
Mike Jackson relieved Contreras in the sixth and made his 1,002nd appearance, tying Goose Gossage for eighth on the career list. He gave up two runs—one earned—in two innings.
Bonderman had struck out eight and had gone eight innings twice in his 25 previous starts. … Detroit’s Bobby Higginson was the AL player of the week after hitting .556 with four homers and 12 RBIs. … Contreras has walked 16 over his last three starts. … Tigers RHP Jason Johnson is expected to start Thursday despite a strained left hip.