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Archive for Thursday, April 3, 2003

Tigers set pitcher-debut record

April 3, 2003

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— The Detroit Tigers became the first team to have four pitchers make their major-league debuts in the same game Wednesday night, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, baseball's statistician.

Jeremy Bonderman, Wilfredo Ledezma, Chris Spurling and Matt Roney all appeared in their first big-league game for the Tigers, who lost, 8-1, to the Minnesota Twins.

The 20-year-old Bonderman became the youngest Detroit starting pitcher since 19-year-old Bruce Robbins July 28, 1979. Bonderman gave up six runs on nine hits in four innings.

Ledezma, Spurling and Roney -- all selected in the winter-meeting draft -- combined for four innings and gave up only one run on two hits.

"When we got behind 6-1, we felt it was a good opportunity to get some of our guys in there," first-year manager Alan Trammell said. "These are things we'll do throughout the course of the year. We have three Rule 5 pitchers who we think have very good arms and we want to get them some experience."

Bonderman also became the first Tigers player to make the jump from Class-A to the majors since Jon Warden in 1968. Bonderman is the youngest player to make the Tigers out of spring training since Trammell did it at age 20 in 1978.

Minnesota's Torii Hunter enjoyed hitting against pitchers making their major-league debuts. He hit a two-run triple off Bonderman in the fourth and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly against Roney in the eighth.

"That was sweet," Hunter said. "I liked that. Congratulations to those guys."

Detroit's Matt Anderson, who appeared in his 223rd game, pitched the final inning.

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