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06/26/07 12:15 AM ET
Bonderman gets roughed up in third
Right-hander drops first contest of the season
By Tim Kirby / MLB.com
DETROIT -- Jeremy Bonderman had received plenty of support during his personal eight-game winning streak. On Monday night against the Rangers, Bonderman's record-breaking unbeaten streak finally stopped. Bonderman gave up four runs in the third inning in an 8-3 loss to the Rangers at Comerica Park. It was his first loss since Sept. 10, 2006 at Minnesota, a span of 17 regular-season starts without a loss. It was the longest unbeaten streak for a Tigers pitcher since Bobo Newsom went 18 starts without a loss in 1940. "I've pitched bad enough to take the losses plenty of times," Bonderman said of his winning streak. The last eight of those starts had all resulted in a win for Bonderman, thanks in part to the Tigers offense. Bonderman leads the Majors in run support, and the Tigers had scored eight or more runs in all of his starts during the winning streak. But an unlikely candidate put an end to Bonderman's streak by shutting down the Tigers offense. Rangers starter Kameron Loe allowed two runs over seven innings on Monday after he allowed nine runs in 2 2/3 innings in a start earlier this month against the Tigers in Arlington. "You can look at it a lot of ways, but the fact of the matter is Loe outpitched Bonderman. It's that simple," manager Jim Leyland said. "Bondo had good stuff and pitched six good innings. He had good stuff, you can't expect the kid to win every time out." "He's one of our horses, an excellent pitcher. Tonight, the opposing pitcher happened to outpitch him." Leyland said he was impressed with Loe in the first outing earlier this month, even though his stat line may not have been stellar. On Monday, it was the Tigers hitters' turn to walk away impressed with Loe. Placido Polanco, Gary Sheffield and Magglio Ordonez -- the Tigers' No. 2, 3, and 4 hitters -- went a combined 1-for-9 against Loe. "Today, the ball was moving," said Craig Monroe, who was 0-for-2 against Loe with a walk. "His sinker was working today. You're not getting Maggs out [easily]. These guys are locked in -- Maggs, Sheff, Polanco. "These guys are locked in, and for him to be moving and sinking the ball, he had to be doing something pretty darn good today." Loe benefited from two inning-ending double plays in the fourth and sixth and made the pitches when he had to with runners on base, while Bonderman nearly worked himself out of his toughest jam of the game. Bonderman, who struck out a season-high nine, retired the first two batters of the third before he loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. He tried to fool Marlon Byrd to work out of the bases-loaded jam with a slide-step delivery, something that isn't usually in his repertoire. "I thought if I slide-stepped real quick, I might catch him off guard. Well, I hung a breaking ball and he hit it for a base hit," Bonderman said. Byrd's single gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead on a pitch Leyland called "a mistake." "It's OK for Kenny [Rogers] -- that's not OK for Bondo," Leyland said of the attempted quick pitch. One more mistake followed when former Tiger Frank Catalanotto hit a sharp ground ball back to Bonderman that knocked him off his feet. He still managed to field the ball cleanly but the throw over to first was the problem. Bonderman overthrew first baseman Sean Casey, which allowed another run to score. "These guys have picked me up and that's the thing that kind of bothers me today, I made an error which basically cost us the game," Bonderman said. One more run would score in the inning on a single by Adam Melhuse, though Craig Monroe managed to throw out Catalanotto at home for the final out of the four-run inning. Curtis Granderson scored Brandon Inge on his league-leading 14th triple in the seventh to cut the deficit to 4-2, but Loe got Placido Polanco to ground out to work his way out of another jam. The Rangers then added four runs in the ninth -- one off Macay McBride in his first appearance as a Tiger and three off Eulogio De La Cruz -- for a 8-2 lead that all but ensured Bonderman wouldn't get off the hook for a no-decision and keep his unbeaten streak alive. "You could say it was luck," Inge said of Bonderman's streak. "But I don't think so. ... You talk to guys on other teams and they hear the name Jeremy Bonderman, it's not going to be an easy day for them." But on Monday, it just happened that it wasn't an easy day for the Tigers against someone named Kameron Loe.
Tim Kirby is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.