Archive for Sunday, July 27, 2003

Royals tumble to Tigers

July 27, 2003

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— Jeremy Bonderman and Alex Sanchez had something to prove. The Detroit Tigers were happy to see them come through.

Bonderman erased the memory of a terrible start in Boston, taking a three-hit shutout into the ninth inning, and Sanchez overcame Friday's baserunning mistake by scoring twice as the Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals, 5-1, Saturday night.

Bonderman (4-14) allowed seven runs in two innings July 21 against the Red Sox, but rebounded by giving up just one run in eight-plus innings this time. He allowed three hits and three walks, striking out four.

"I really wanted to have a good outing after what happened in Boston," the 20-year-old rookie said. "I knew that I needed to get myself back on track."

Bonderman walked Aaron Guiel leading off the ninth, then threw a wild pitch and was lifted by manager Alan Trammell. Guiel later scored on Ken Harvey's groundout.

"I hated to go get him, but it was the right thing to do," Trammell said. "The most important thing is that he threw a fantastic game. That is why we think he is going to be so good."

The Tigers improved to 13-36 at home, winning for the second time in three games overall following a six-game losing streak.

The AL Central-leading Royals have dropped four of six.

"We're in first place, but that doesn't mean that we're going to win every single game," Carlos Beltran said. "There are going to be teams that beat us, like today. We're looking to win, but sometimes you're going to get beat."

The teams wore vintage jerseys on Negro League Night. The Tigers wore the pale yellow of the Detroit Stars, while the Royals were in the gray of the Kansas City Monarchs.

Royals starter Kyle Snyder (1-5) gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings.

"I missed over the plate at bad times," Snyder said. "The fastball was up, it was flat, it wasn't sinking quite as good as I would have liked. I was behind way too many hitters, so I threw more pitches than I would have liked to in six innings of baseball."

Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the first when Sanchez tripled and scored on Bobby Higginson's sacrifice fly.

The Tigers made it 3-0 in the second. With one out, Carlos Pena walked and, after Eric Munson popped out, Matt Walbeck singled. Ramon Santiago then lined a two-run triple into the right-field corner.

The Tigers added a strange run in the fifth, thanks to two throwing errors on one play by Kansas City.

Sanchez reached on a bunt single when second baseman Carlos Febles missed first base after a throw from first baseman Harvey. Sanchez stole second, then broke for third when Brent Mayne's throw sailed into center field for an error.

Beltran's throw hit Sanchez in the back and rolled away for an error, allowing Sanchez to head for home. Third baseman Desi Relaford threw to the plate, but again the ball hit Sanchez as he slid in safely.

"I was pretty tired after that one," Sanchez said. "I'm not sure I've ever slid three times on one play before."

Sanchez was pulled from Friday's game after being doubled off first on a liner to center field.

"This felt good," he said. "I just wanted to forget about yesterday and focus on having a good game tonight."

Detroit made it 5-0 on Munson's sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Kansas City's best chance came when Michael Tucker led off the fifth inning with a double, but he was stranded after two grounders and a shallow fly.

The Royals also put two runners on in the eighth, but pinch-hitter Joe Randa hit into an inning-ending double play.

"Today was his day," Beltran said of Bonderman. "He was hitting everything on the corners, he was using his slider and his changeup and he throw a lot of strikes. He threw maybe less than 30 balls today the whole game. That's pretty good."

Notes: The Tigers recalled reliever Eric Eckenstahler from Triple-A Toledo before the game and optioned Steve Avery to the Mud Hens. ... Snyder's five runs allowed were his most since he gave up seven on June 19 against Minnesota.

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