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White, Monroe homer for Tigers

5/19/2004

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- As long as he's a major leaguer, Jeremy
Bonderman will remain a little bitter toward the Oakland Athletics.

Bonderman, originally drafted by the A's, pitched seven strong
innings and Rondell White and Craig Monroe homered to lead the
Detroit Tigers over Oakland 5-1 Tuesday night.

"I love facing this team," Bonderman said. "I don't know why
they got rid of me. Every time I pitch against them, I want to show
them what they got rid of. It's a long time ago, but it will always
be in the back of my mind."

Carlos Guillen hit a two-run triple for the Tigers, who began
their nine-game trip by ending Oakland's three-game winning streak.
Detroit also improved to .500 for the first time in two weeks.

"That's huge," Bonderman said. "I love this. It's totally
different coming to the park this year."

Erubiel Durazo homered for the A's, but their offense was
otherwise punchless only two days after completing a three-game
sweep in Kansas City. Oakland had won eight of 10.

Bonderman (4-2) made things tough on the two-time defending AL
West champions, who managed just four hits. He threw about 30
changeups, almost double what he'd ever previously thrown in a
game. It's a pitch Bonderman believes will be carry him for years.

This was the second matchup in less than a week between
Bonderman and his former minor league roommate, Rich Harden (2-3).

"He pitched a great game," said Harden, who won last Wednesday
when both lasted seven innings in Oakland's 2-1 victory. The A's
took two of three in Detroit.

Bonderman, a 21-year-old right-hander, has performed well in
Oakland's pitcher-friendly park.

After Mark Kotsay reached on an error leading off the game,
Bonderman retired his next 10 batters before Eric Chavez lined a
single to center with one out in the fourth. Bonderman allowed four
hits, struck out five and walked three.

"He's much more relaxed now," said A's shortstop Bobby Crosby,
another former teammate of Bonderman. "When he was younger, he let
things get to his head."

Steve Colyer and Esteban Yan each threw a hitless inning to
finish it.

Bonderman earned his first major league win at Oakland last
April 23, limiting the A's to one run and three hits in a
career-best eight innings. He retired 17 straight during one
stretch and earned his first of two wins last season against 2002
AL Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito.

While Detroit manager Alan Trammell is pleased with his team's
progress, he's not getting too excited just yet. This is the
Tigers, after all, a team that lost 119 games just last season.

"I'm not jumping up and down," Trammell said. "I want more.
It means nothing if we don't go higher."

Harden allowed three runs on six hits in six innings, striking
out two and walking three -- "How many guys did I walk, five or
six?" he asked.

Harden didn't throw his usual off-day side session Monday
because the A's had a charity golf tournament. While Harden didn't
play in the event, there was no one for him to play catch with.

"I really don't like to take days off before I pitch. ... So, I
came out today and wasn't sharp at all," Harden said. "I really
didn't have my split, I didn't have my good fastball and I didn't
have command of my off-speed stuff. I was happy to keep it pretty
close."

White connected for his eighth homer leading off the sixth.
Monroe, pinch-hitting for Eric Munson, hit a mammoth, two-run homer
in the ninth, sending a drive deep into the left-field seats to
make it 5-1.

Tigers leadoff hitter Alex Sanchez -- who has 15 bunt singles
this season -- drew only his third walk of the year in the third.
Guillen followed with his triple to the wall in right-center.

Sanchez walked again in the fifth, marking just the 12th time
he's had a three-ball count this year. He finished 0-for-3 to snap
a seven-game hitting streak.

Durazo hit his seventh home run on the first pitch he saw in the
seventh.

Game notes
Bonderman went 6-19 last season. ... A's C Adam Melhuse
singled in the fifth and is batting .323 (11-for-34) in his last 11
games. ... The Tigers played their 19th game in a 24-game stretch
against the AL West. ... Bonderman is 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA in four
career starts against the A's, striking out 15 in 27 innings. ...
A's reliever Chris Hammond pitched for the first time in nine games
-- his first appearance since May 7. He struck out two in the
seventh. ... Harden threw 105 pitches in six innings. ... Yan has
retired 15 of his last 16 batters over his last two outings.