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Bonderman treated harshly in debut, Twins roll

4/3/2003

DETROIT (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins didn't take it easy on Jeremy
Bonderman in his major league debut.

Jacque Jones hit a two-run homer as the Twins put together six
runs on nine hits over four innings against the 20-year-old on
Wednesday night in an 8-1 win over the Detroit Tigers.

Bonderman became the first Tiger to make the jump from Class A
to the majors since Jon Warden in 1968 and was the youngest player
to break spring training with Detroit's major league club since
current manager Alan Trammell did as a 20-year-old in 1978.

Detroit became the first team to have four pitchers make their
major league debuts in the same game, according to the Elias Sports
Bureau, baseball's statistician. Wilfredo Ledezma, Chris Spurling
and Matt Roney -- all taken in the winter-meeting draft -- combined
for four innings and gave up only one run on two hits.

Bonderman was the youngest Detroit starting pitcher since
19-year-old Bruce Robbins on July 28, 1979.

"He's going to learn at this level and it ain't going to be
easy,'' Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.

While Bonderman struggled, Joe Mays got off to a successful
start.

Mays, who made just 17 starts last year due to injury, retired
his first six batters before Eric Munson's homer in the third cut
Detroit's deficit to 3-1. He gave up just two hits and no walks
while striking out four to improve to 8-0 in his last 10 starts
against the Tigers.

Gardenhire said he had seen enough of Mays and was just glad he
was healthy. Mays wanted to pitch more.

"I was very bitter when they took me out,'' he said. "I really
didn't say much. He said, 'That's good,' and I just stared at him
in the eyes and didn't say anything. He knew I was upset about
it.''

Johan Santana gave up one hit in two innings of relief.

Detroit dropped to 0-2 -- after scoring a total of two runs --
under Trammell.

"We need to score, there's no question about it,'' Trammell
said. "But we're not going to jump off any bridges.''

Bonderman was the player to be named later in last year's
three-team, seven-player trade that sent ace Jeff Weaver from
Detroit to the New York Yankees. Oakland sent the native of Pasco,
Wash., first baseman Carlos Pena and reliever Franklyn German to
the Tigers.

The Tigers sold 21,123 tickets for the much-anticipated debut of
the hard-throwing right-hander, but about 10,000 of those fans did
not appear to be at Comerica Park on a relatively warm night.

"I wasn't nervous,'' said Bonderman, who struck out five and
walked one walk in a 79-pitch outing against the AL Central
champions. "I was excited and I had a lot of adrenalin.''

Jones' homer came in the second.

"That's a pitch you can't miss and I didn't,'' he said.

Jones also had an RBI bunt single in the fourth and a sacrifice
fly in the eighth against Roney to give the Twins a 7-1 lead.

Cristian Guzman was the first player to get a hit off Bonderman,
in the first inning, and the first to score. He also singled and
scored, on Torii Hunter's two-run triple, in the fourth to put the
Twins ahead 6-1.

"They're a good fastball-hitting team and they proved that,''
Bonderman said. "I left the ball up on a couple pitches and you
can't do that against a good hitting team like that because they'll
punish you. That's what happened.''

Game notes
Minnesota's Corey Koskie, who missed the opener with a
stiff back, left the game for precautionary reasons after going
2-for-3. ... The Twins won their 11th straight game against
Detroit. ... Mays spent the first 12 years of his life in Flint,
Mich. ... Minnesota's Kyle Lohse will pitch against Adam Bernero in
the third and final game of the series Thursday before the Twins
play Toronto in their home opener Friday night. ... Damion Easley
signed with Tampa Bay on Wednesday, five days after becoming the
most expensive player cut loose in baseball history when the
Detroit Tigers released him with $14.3 million still owed on his
contract. The signing cuts Detroit's obligation by $300,000.