Sidelined since April 13 with a hernia, Ordonez wasn’t expected back until later in the weekend, but asked manager Alan Trammell to put him in Friday’s lineup.
“It was exciting. I got my first hit as a Tiger and I felt good,” Ordonez said.
Ordonez went 0-for-10 in three early season games after signing with the Tigers as a free agent. In his last healthy season, he hit .317 with 29 homers and 99 RBIs for the Chicago White Sox in 2003.
“We just put a guy in the middle of our lineup that is a very good hitter,” Trammell said. “This is a guy with a proven track record.”
Bonderman (10-5) gave up eight hits in his second complete game in three starts and fourth of his career. He struck out five and walked two—both in the ninth inning—as he became the first Tigers pitcher to win 10 games before the All-Star break since Bill Gullickson in 1991.
“He’s an All-Star type pitcher,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “You certainly don’t want to give him a head of steam. We certainly made him too comfortable.”
The Tigers roughed up Johnson (7-6), who gave up nine hits and seven runs over five innings. It was the second time Johnson gave up seven runs in his last three starts. He struck out two and walked one.
“It’s a surprise when he gets manhandled like he did,” Torre said. “He had no problems warming up. He looked like he was fine. I thought he had dominating stuff.”
Johnson said he had no explanation for his performance.
“It was just bad location, a bad game,” he said. “I just pitched bad. I’m capable of having a bad game, just like anybody else at work.
“I have a high ERA right now and my record is not where I’d like it to be, and I’ve had some bad games in the mix. I haven’t pitched well.”
Ordonez hit a 1-0 pitch off Johnson in the fifth inning. He got a standing ovation from the fans when he took his position in right field in the sixth.
“It means a lot to know the fans are behind you like that,” Ordonez said.
The Tigers pulled ahead 4-1 in the second, highlighted by Chris Shelton’s two-run shot, his fifth homer of the year.
Polanco had a career-high five RBIs. He hit a three-run shot to left off Scott Proctor, who replaced Johnson in the sixth. Proctor was only on the mound for one inning, allowing two hits and three runs.
New York’s Hideki Matsui hit his 11th home run, a solo shot to left in the sixth.
Tigers CF Nook Logan stole his 16th base. … Detroit bench coach Kirk Gibson switched jobs with Bruce Fields, who had been the hitting coach since 2003. … Rookie right-hander Justin Verlander is scheduled to start the second game of Detroit’s doubleheader at Cleveland Monday. Verlander was drafted in the first round in 2004 out of Old Dominion. … A plaque in honor of Hall of Famer Ty Cobb was removed from old Tiger Stadium and relocated to Comerica Park. … Center fielder Bernie Williams singled in the second inning to tie Don Mattingly (2,153) on the Yankees’ all-time hit list. … Friday’s game had a soldout crowd of 40,776.