Bonderman just misses shutout; Tigers maul Mariners

SEATTLE (AP) -- Jeremy Bonderman now knows how to pitch. That's
why he came within one out of a shutout Friday night and hasn't
allowed more than two runs in any of his last seven starts for the
Detroit Tigers.

"Well, maybe not knowing. Thinking I know what I'm doing," the
soft-spoken Bonderman said.

"I don't know. It's working."

Ask the baffled Mariners. Bonderman allowed three hits before
three ninth-inning singles prevented him from earning his first
shutout of the season in the Tigers' 6-1 win over Seattle.

Bonderman's nasty sliders, Craig Monroe's long home run and
three hits from Magglio Ordonez hours after he was added to the AL
All-Star team as an injury replacement helped the team with
baseball's best record send the Mariners to their fifth consecutive

Detroit moved to 58-28. Yes, manager Jim Leyland is glad he
ended his six-year managing hiatus to lead a team with 90-loss
seasons in seven of the last eight years to the top of the major

"You can't be much happier than I am," Leyland said, chomping
on a postgame steak. "There's a long way to go, but no matter how
this turns out, I'm going to be glad I came back.

"We're 30 games over. If you can't be happy about that, you
shouldn't be managing."

Seattle avoided being blanked for the 11th time this season when
Raul Ibanez's RBI single with two outs in the ninth chased
Bonderman (8-4). With runners at first and second, Joel Zumaya
struck out Richie Sexson on a 100 mph fastball to end it.

The Mariners have managed only one run in the past two games.

"We are obviously getting good pitching thrown at us," manager
Mike Hargrove said.

Obviously. But at least Seattle doesn't have to face Bonderman
again this weekend.

Leyland is most pleased that Bonderman is fulfilling the
potential the Tigers saw in him when they traded Jeff Weaver in a
2002 three-team deal for Oakland's 2001 first-round draft choice.

"No question about that," Leyland said, adding Bonderman and
fellow young Tigers starters Nate Robertson and Mike Maroth "have
taken leaps and bounds.

"It hasn't been something gradual. Boom -- they've just taken

So has Bonderman's slider, which left Seattle All-Star Jose
Lopez marveling.

"He didn't care if it was 2-2 or 3-2, he'd throw a slider,"
Lopez said.

And he had two hits.

"His slider was just disappearing out of the zone," Zumaya
said. "I don't know how hitters see it. Then he's got that power
and his changeup? No chance."

Bonderman, from Pasco, Wash., has 111 strikeouts this season,
the most by a Tigers pitcher before the All-Star break since Hideo
Nomo had 111 in the first half of 2000. Bonderman had just four on
Friday, but he walked none in 8 2/3 innings and hasn't lost since
May 29.

Detroit ran its way to its first two runs. Curtis Granderson led
off the game with a walk from Joel Pineiro (6-8). Granderson then
stole second without a throw and scored with two outs on Ordonez's
first single.

In the fifth inning, Chris Shelton singled. The first baseman
then stole his first base of the season, advanced to third on a
groundout and scored on Granderson's sacrifice fly when center
fielder Shin-Soo Choo's throw was early, but way up the third-base

Monroe made it 3-0 with his 13th home run, a stunning shot four
rows up into the second deck in left field leading off the seventh.

"When you hit it like that, you can't feel them," Monroe said.

Former Mariner Carlos Guillen extended his hitting streak to 10
games in the eighth with a two-out single that scored Placido Polanco with the fourth run. Pineiro then departed, having allowed
10 hits. His fifth and sixth earned runs were charged to him when
reliever Julio Mateo allowed Marcus Thames' two-run double.

Seattle's lone highlight came when All-Star Ichiro Suzuki threw
out Ordonez trying to score on Monroe's line drive in the fourth.
Suzuki's throw from medium-deep right field to catcher Kenji
Johjima on a fly was so early, Ordonez didn't bother to run to home
plate. Instead, Ordonez ran toward the backstop and was called out
for being out of the base line.

"That's why the guy's been to the All-Star game five or six
times," Leyland said. "He's a total player."

It was Suzuki's seventh outfield assist this season, tied for
the AL lead. Four of those have been at home plate, and three of
those runners have been Tigers.

Game notes
In 27 games since June 8, Detroit starters are 17-1 with a
2.83 ERA. "It's beyond what anybody expected," Leyland said. ...
Ordonez's three hits came after an 0-for-10 skid. ... Seattle
called up RHP Mark Lowe from Double-A San Antonio. Lowe, the team's
fifth-round draft pick in 2004, entered in the ninth and
immediately loaded the bases. He then struck out Polanco, got Ivan Rodriguez to hit into a force play at home, and struck out Ordonez
on a slider.