Tigers 3, Padres 1
Bonderman gave up a leadoff home run but little else, pitching seven strong innings and leading Detroit over the NL West-leading San Diego Padres 3-1 Thursday for a three-game sweep.
The fourth-place Tigers (31-32) also pulled off a sweep in late May against the Baltimore Orioles, who are first in the AL East.
“A lot of good things are happening—good pitching, good defense, timely hitting. When you get all those things it usually adds up to a win,” Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. “When you least expect it, when we’re not playing very well—coming off a not-so-good road trip—we respond.”
Detroit struggled offensively on the road last week, losing two of three against Colorado and the Dodgers.
Chris Shelton hit his first homer of the season and added an RBI single for the Tigers. He was recalled from Triple-A Toledo on May 31.
“Shelton really deserves to be up here. He’s swinging the bat well,” Trammell said.
The Padres fell to 0-6 in Detroit. In the 1984 World Series, they lost all three games at Tiger Stadium.
Dave Roberts opened this game by connecting on a full-count pitch. It was his second leadoff home run of the season and the fourth of his career.
Bonderman (8-4) was in control the rest of the way. He allowed only four hits overall, striking out four and walking three. He said he had no problem with Trammell’s decision to pull him after the seventh, ending his chances for a complete game.
“I threw a lot of pitches in the first two innings but was able to get a lot of quick outs after that to stay in the game as long as I did. I had no complaints,” Bonderman said.
San Diego, which has lost 11 of 15, threatened in the seventh, putting runners at the corners with one out. Bonderman escaped by getting Khalil Greene to hit into a double play.
“Woody did a great job, he gave us a chance to win the ballgame. Defensively, we played well,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. “Pitching has been good enough to win a couple of ballgames here, but offensively we’re just not clicking.”
Shelton started the seventh with his homer to left-center. His only other home run came on May 28, 2004, against Baltimore.
Williams went seven innings, giving up six hits.
Bochy said RHP Adam Eaton is day-to-day after leaving Wednesday night’s 8-2 loss in the third inning with a strained flexor in right index finger. The loss snapped Eaton’s career-best eight-game winning streak and was his shortest start since May 9, 2004. … The Padres have lost all three series they’ve played against AL teams this season. … Detroit’s series against San Francisco this weekend will mark the return of former Tigers manager Luis Pujols and bench coach Felipe Alou. … Tigers outfielders have not committed an error since May 15.