Jeremy Bonderman threw seven strong innings and the offense added 19 hits as the Tigers defeated the Washington Nationals 8-3 on Thursday afternoon.
The victory caps a second straight series sweep, and overall 6-game win streak, a stretch in which the Tigers have scored 37 runs on a whopping 70 hits. It’s a pleasant sight for Tigers fans, who had recently endured a stretch where the cats had lost 12 of 18 with the main culprit being a stagnant offense.
Miguel Cabrera extended his league-leading RBI total to 59, going 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI. Alex Avila went 2-for-4 with a long double in the 2nd inning, driving in two runs.
Not to be lost in the offensive onslaught is Jeremy Bonderman, who allowed just two earned on five hits while fanning seven in seven innings of work.
Bonderman appeared to be pedestrian early, as five of the first six batters hit long, powerful flyouts. Bondo was leaving the ball up in the zone. He survived and adjusted, two things he has done well all season long. He went on to strike out four straight before giving up his first hit of the ball game in the 4th inning.
The Tigers broke the game open in the 5th inning, scoring three times, twice on Cabrera’s double and once on an RBI single from Carlos Guillen.
Fu-Te Ni saw his first action since June 9th as he relieved Bonderman in the 8th inning. Ni allowed singles to the first two batters he faced, before retiring the third on a fielder’s choice. Jim Leyland then summoned Joel Zumaya from the pen, who allowed an RBI single before retiring the side.
The Tigers stretched the lead to 8-3 on a Magglio Ordonez RBI single in the 8th before Eddie Bonine closed the door in an easy 9th.
The Twins lost 5-1 at home today, as the Colorado Rockies avoided a sweep. Ubaldo Jimenez went to 13-1 on the year, lowering his ERA to 1.15.
The Tigers are now just 1.5 games behind the Twins for first place in the AL Central.
The Arizona Diamondbacks come to town tomorrow for a Father’s Day weekend series.
Dontrelle Willis returns to Comerica tomorrow in a start for the D’Backs. He’ll face counterpart Rick Porcello, who is returning to the rotation after missing a start to work on his mechanics.