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Detroit at Kansas City

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Detroit «010022010670
Kansas City0000030003111

Tigers claim 12th win in 13 tries; Royals fall 12th straight time

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Detroit manager Jim Leyland gave his own version of a commencement speech to Jeremy Bonderman on Wednesday night.

After Matt Stairs slugged a three-run homer in the sixth inning, Leyland told the 23-year-old Bonderman it was "time to graduate."

And apparently he did. Bonderman settled down and did not allow another run Wednesday night while the Tigers, with two home runs from Omar Infante, beat Kansas City 6-3 to hand the Royals their 12th straight loss.

Leyland wanted to make sure Bonderman (5-3) didn't get flustered after allowing Stairs' homer.

"I told him it's time to graduate and really become the major league pitcher you can be," Leyland said. "This is a perfect time for you to turn the page, get your concentration on the next hitter and put that in the memory bank somewhere. This is where you either graduate or you don't."

Bonderman, who went seven innings and gave up three runs and 10 hits, was not ready to say he aced the test.

"He said, `You've got to step up,"' Bonderman recalled. "You can't feel sorry for yourself for that home run. I was able to make some pitches and the guys played some defense."

Brandon Inge also homered and Ivan Rodriguez had three hits for the Tigers, who lead the majors with a 32-14 record and the AL with 39 road homers. Detroit has won 12 of its last 13 and has a major league-best 19 road victories.

The hapless Royals dropped to 10-34 and are beginning to draw comparisons with the 2003 Detroit team that lost an AL-record 119 games and the 1962 New York Mets whose 120 losses set the modern futility record.

In their 12-game skid, their second double-digit losing streak already this year, the Royals have been outscored 87-41.

"We had some opportunities offensively," manager Buddy Bell said.

In three starts this year against Kansas City, Bonderman is 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA.

"He has always looked impressive to us," Bell said.

The Tigers have outscored the Royals 46-13 and outhomered them 18-7 in taking the first seven games against them this season.

After wrapping up the four-game Detroit series on Thursday, the Royals begin a 10-game trip Friday night with three in Yankee Stadium, where they have lost 14 in a row. They are 2-20 on the road this season.

Bonderman is 4-0 in six road starts.

"It's one game. I've got to keep doing it," he said. "It's a long year. I'm just trying to be part of the success around here."

Todd Jones pitched the ninth for his 15th save in 16 chances.

Jimmy Gobble (0-1) gave the Royals a solid outing in an emergency start for Mark Redman, going four innings and giving up only three hits and one run. It was the left-handed reliever's first start since last Sept. 21.

Infante hit his first homer with two outs and none on in the second and added a second solo drive in the eighth. He's played in only four of Detroit's last 13 games.

"He hasn't complained once about playing time at all," Inge said. "I like to see him do well. He's worked hard in batting practice. It doesn't shock me at all. He's a good hitter."

Marcus Thames drew a two-out walk from Mike Wood ahead of Inge's two-run shot in the fifth.

In the sixth, runs scored on a fielding error by first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz and Infante's fielder's choice.

"Inexcusable -- no two ways about it," Mientkiewicz said. "I've made that play 2,000 times in my career."

Notes

  • Placido Polanco has a nine-game hitting streak.
  • Each team turned an unusual 3-6 double play in the fourth.
  • Redman was placed on the bereavement list and will be eligible to come back in three days.
  • In their last 33 games, Detroit starters are 20-6. Tigers starters lead the majors with 27 victories.
  • The Royals are 1-19 when they have an error.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Detroit's Brandon Inge (No. 15) gets congratulated by Marcus Thames after his two-run shot in the fifth.  (AP)
Detroit's Brandon Inge (No. 15) gets congratulated by Marcus Thames after his two-run shot in the fifth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

O. Infante
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 3
Kansas City

M. Stairs
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4000130 .262
Placido Polanco, 2B5110011 .300
Ivan Rodriguez, C4130000 .304
Magglio Ordonez, RF3000103 .322
Carlos Guillen, SS4000000 .316
Chris Shelton, 1B4000013 .309
Omar Infante, DH4223000 .333
Marcus Thames, LF2100110 .297
    Craig Monroe, LF0000000 .229
Brandon Inge, 3B4112003 .231
Totals346753610 
Batting
HR - Omar Infante 2 (2, Gobble, Nunez), Brandon Inge (11, Wood)
RBI - Omar Infante 3 (7), Brandon Inge 2 (28)
2-OUT RBI - Omar Infante 2 (4), Brandon Inge 2 (10)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Polanco-Guillen-Shelton, Shelton-Guillen, Guillen-Polanco-Shelton
Detroit Tigers
Jeremy Bonderman (W,5-3) 71033131 4.57
Fernando Rodney (H,6) 1000110 1.31
Todd Jones (S,15) 1100010 3.31
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Bonderman 90-62, Fernando Rodney 16-10, Todd Jones 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Bonderman 8-7, Fernando Rodney 1-0, Todd Jones 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeremy Bonderman 29, Fernando Rodney 3, Todd Jones 4
Kansas City Royals
Shane Costa, CF4010002 .304
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4120001 .327
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B3110101 .252
Reggie Sanders, RF3010113 .230
Matt Stairs, DH4113021 .227
Emil Brown, LF4020010 .243
Tony Graffanino, 3B4000002 .222
Paul Bako, C4020001 .224
Angel Berroa, SS3010010 .240
   a- Aaron Guiel, PH1000001 .195
Totals3431132512 
a-flied out for Berroa in the 9th
Batting
HR - Matt Stairs (4, Bonderman)
RBI - Matt Stairs 3 (13)
CS - Reggie Sanders (2, 2nd base by Rodney/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Mientkiewicz-Berroa
E - Doug Mientkiewicz (2, Misplayed grounder)
Kansas City Royals
Jimmy Gobble (L,0-1) 4311031 4.68
Mike Wood 1.2342201 3.64
Leo Nunez 2.1111121 3.86
Joe Nelson 1000010 0.00
HBP - Thames (by Mike Wood)
Pitches-Strikes - Jimmy Gobble 59-40, Mike Wood 41-21, Leo Nunez 38-25, Joe Nelson 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jimmy Gobble 4-4, Mike Wood 4-2, Leo Nunez 4-1, Joe Nelson 1-1
Batters Faced - Jimmy Gobble 14, Mike Wood 12, Leo Nunez 9, Joe Nelson 3
Game Information
Attendance - 10745
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Jerry Crawford, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi