Tigers 3, Indians 0
CLEVELAND (AP)—Jeremy Bonderman wasn’t thinking about a no-hitter—he just wanted to do a better job against the hottest lineup in baseball.
Bonderman pitched three-hit ball through eight innings and Chris Shelton homered to help the Detroit Tigers extend Cleveland’s losing streak to a season-high five games with a 3-0 win over the Indians on Saturday night.
“I got the ball down, plain and simple,” said Bonderman, who was hit hard by Cleveland for seven runs and eight hits in a home loss April 15. “I got the ball up at home against them and they hit me. I kept it down tonight. That’s a big thing for me.”
Shelton, who hadn’t homered in 41 at-bats since April 28, hit his 11th of the year on a 2-0 pitch from C.C. Sabathia (2-1) leading off the third inning.
“He got in a favorable count, got the bat through the zone and hit it out,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “I don’t want him to get caught up in hitting home runs. That got him in a little trouble before.”
The Tigers improved the best road record in baseball to 15-7. Their last winning road mark was 41-40 in 1993—and they are just 359-601 (.374) away from Detroit since.
The Indians’ skid is their longest since losing five in a row July 10-17.
“It’s a slump where anything that can go wrong will,” said Sabathia, who tied a career high with 10 strikeouts over eight innings. “But we’re a team that learns from our mistakes. It was a case of Bonderman being really good rather than our offense struggling.”
Bonderman (4-2) didn’t allow a hit until Todd Hollandsworth doubled to the wall in left-center with two outs in the fifth.
“I’d rather give up a hit early and get it out of the way,” the 23-year-old said. “When you look at a no-hitter or perfect game, it’s almost impossible to pitch one.”
The right-hander walked three and struck out eight as he stymied a Cleveland lineup that came in leading the majors in runs (223), hits (389) and hitting (.302).
Bonderman improved to 5-8 with a 6.17 ERA in 16 career games against Cleveland, snapping a three-game losing streak to the Indians in which he had yielded 26 hits and 15 runs over 13 innings for a 10.38 ERA.
“We’ve had some success against him, but he had a sharp slider tonight to go with a 90-whatever fastball and was tough,” Aaron Boone said.
Todd Jones gave up a pair of two-out singles in the ninth before getting Hollandsworth to line out to center field for his ninth save in 10 tries—and second in two nights.
Cleveland made three errors, giving them an AL-worst 28 for the season.
Ivan Rodriguez’s RBI double in the eighth made it 3-0.
Peralta’s lack of hustle led to the final out of the eighth. With Boone on second, Peralta tapped a ball that rolled down the first-base line, inches foul. He stood and watched as first baseman Shelton allowed it to keep rolling until the ball took a left turn into fair territory. Shelton picked it up and jogged to the bag to record the out as fans booed.
“That bothers me as much as anything that has happened this year,” said Wedge, adding that he talked to Peralta about the play.
“He thought it was going to be foul, but that ball is too close to assume that.”
Sabathia gave up two earned runs, six hits, and issuing one intentional walk in his third outing since coming off the disabled list May 2.
Two of the 10 perfect-game pitchers still alive, ex-Indian RHP Len Barker and current Tigers LHP Kenny Rogers were in the park. The Indians honored Barker for the 25th anniversary of his perfecto, which officially is Monday. … Sabathia fell to 10-5 in his career against Detroit, including 4-5 at Jacobs Field. … Blake is batting .439 (18-for-41) during an 11-game hitting streak, one short of his career high.