Tigers 3, Brewers 1

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MILWAUKEE (AP)—Brandon Inge apologized to Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman in the dugout after scoring the tying run in the eighth.

“I said, ‘Sorry we didn’t do it sooner,”’ Inge said. “He definitely didn’t deserve that loss.”

Moments later Magglio Ordonez hit a two-run double with two outs to lift the Tigers and Bonderman to a 3-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.

Bonderman (7-4) struck out 12 over seven innings to give the Tigers their fifth straight win. He was in line to take the loss after giving up a solo home run to Prince Fielder in the seventh that gave Milwaukee a 1-0 lead.

But the Brewers gave up three runs in the eighth sparked by two bunt singles and two errant throws.

Reliever Matt Wise (4-4) fielded a soft bunt down the first-base line from Inge and threw the ball into right field as Inge advanced to second.

“That was ridiculous, I have no idea why I threw that ball,” Wise said. “Me giving up runs like that makes me want to puke.”

Then pinch-hitter Alexis Gomez bunted to third baseman Corey Koskie, whose low throw bounced away from Fielder at first. Inge broke for home and slid in to beat Fielder’s throw and tie it at 1.

“In a close game like that, I’d rather die with my boots on than just play it safety first,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

With one out, Wise walked Placido Polanco and was pulled for Jose Capellan, who struck out Ivan Rodriguez, but gave up Ordonez’s double.

“I was looking for a good pitch to hit, and fortunately he threw me a fastball on the outside corner,” Ordonez said.

The Brewers didn’t have a baserunner after that and Todd Jones recorded his 19th save in 22 chances.

Bonderman allowed four hits and walked three. His fastball touched 95 mph and he mixed in a sharp slider in the mid-80s while striking out six straight at one point, one shy of the club record, beginning with Fielder and Bill Hall to end the fourth.

In the fifth inning, he struck out the side on 13 pitches. Bonderman fanned pitcher Doug Davis to begin the sixth and struck out Carlos Lee to end the inning on a 93 mph fastball.

But he began to come apart after Fielder’s homer and loaded the bases with two outs. Shortstop Carlos Guillen settled him and Bonderman retired Rickie Weeks on a grounder to end the threat.

“He just came up and gave me that little pat on the back,” Bonderman said. “Sometimes that’s what you need.”

Bonderman’s 12 strikeouts tied his season high, set against Tampa Bay in his previous start. He became the first Tigers pitcher since Mickey Lolich to strike out 12 or more batters in consecutive games.

Davis struck out nine over seven innings and allowed three hits for Milwaukee.

“Yesterday we hit eight home runs, tonight we probably won with a couple of bunts,” Leyland said. “That’s a nice combination.”


Lolich struck out 14 in two straight games in 1971. … The Tigers’ record for consecutive strikeouts in a game is seven, set by Denny McLain in 1965 and tied by John Hiller in 1970. … Davis struck out the side in order on 11 pitches in the sixth. … Brewers INF Jeff Cirillo was only available for pinch hitting after spraining his ankle slightly when he jumped in disgust and landed awkwardly after a long flyout in the eighth inning of Sunday’s game. … The Brewers have committed 63 errors this season, the most in the majors.

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