DETROIT -- On the first night they had hometown fans' undivided attention, Jeremy Bonderman and the Detroit Tigers gave them a memorable effort.
Bonderman recovered from a shaky start, allowing two runs in 7 2/3 innings, and Magglio Ordonez hit a three-run homer to lead the Tigers past the Boston Red Sox 6-2 Saturday night.
The victory, Detroit's second in its last seven games, kept the Tigers 2 1/2 games ahead of Chicago in the AL Central and delighted a sellout crowd a night after the Detroit Pistons were eliminated from the NBA playoffs.
Bonderman (6-4) struck out six, walked two and gave up four hits to pick up his second win of the season at home. He's 4-0 in six road starts.
"His slider was outstanding," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "We made him throw the ball early, but he got into the middle of the game and really found his groove."
Bonderman threw 29 pitches in the first inning, walked two and gave up Trot Nixon's RBI double, then pulled it together after the rough start. He allowed just three more hits and retired 13 straight batters in the middle innings.
"I threw a lot of my pitches for strikes (61 of 99) tonight," Bonderman said. "I mixed it up and tried keeping these guys off-balance. They're a great hitting club."
Alex Cora led off the eighth with a triple and scored on Coco Crisp's grounder to pull Boston to 3-2. Bonderman got Mark Loretta to ground out before leaving the game. Fernando Rodney retired David Ortiz on a fly ball to end the inning.
"I wanted to stay in and face Ortiz," Bonderman added, "but Skip thought it was better for me to come out and depend on the bullpen, which has been great."
Rodney worked the last 1 1/3 innings for his seventh save in eighth chances.
Carlos Guillen hit a two-run drive and Marcus Thames added a solo shot for the Tigers.
Tim Wakefield (4-7) struck out six in seven innings for the Red Sox. Francona pulled him after the right-hander complained of stiffness in his back.
Manny Delcarmen got the first two outs of the eighth before leaving with runners on first and third. He was hit in the ankle by Ivan Rodriguez's single but was not injured.
Francona pulled him because he wanted Julian Tavarez to face Ordonez. His second pitch barely cleared the wall into the Red Sox bullpen to make it 6-2.
"Great decision on my part," Francona said.
Ordonez also singled in the fourth, ahead of Guillen's seventh home run of the season.
Thames hit his ninth home run in the second inning to tie it at 1. He also doubled in the seventh.
"I kept us in the game as long as I could," Wakefield said. "I tried to go low to Thames and he got it and I put one right down the middle of the plate to Guillen."
The Red Sox have scored six runs in his losses this season.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland was pleased to see the long balls leaving the park but added he hopes the Tigers can vary their performance at the plate.
"We hit a couple over the fence tonight and that's big for us," he said. "We just have to learn that we have to score runs other ways, too. And we can do that.
"I think we've proved to ourselves that we can do that. We just have to do it a little bit more often."
Crisp was 0-for-4 to end a 10-game hitting streak. ... The start of the game was delayed 46 minutes by rain. ... Saturday's sellout (40,872) was the third this season at Comerica Park. ... Umpire Charlie Reliford, scheduled to work at second base, left before the game to tend to a family matter. A three-man crew worked the game.
|Players of the Game|
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|Boston Red Sox|
|Coco Crisp, CF||4||0||0||1||0||0||1|
|Mark Loretta, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|David Ortiz, DH||3||1||0||0||1||1||0|
|Manny Ramirez, LF||3||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|Trot Nixon, RF||3||0||2||1||1||0||0|
|Mike Lowell, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||3|
|Kevin Youkilis, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||3||2|
|Doug Mirabelli, C||3||0||1||0||0||1||1|
|Alex Cora, SS||3||1||1||0||0||1||1|
|2B - Trot Nixon (, Bonderman)|
|3B - Alex Cora (, Bonderman)|
|RBI - Coco Crisp (), Trot Nixon ()|
|2-OUT RBI - Trot Nixon ()|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Lowell-Loretta-Youkilis, Cora-Loretta-Youkilis|
|PB - Doug Mirabelli ()|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Tim Wakefield (L,-)||7||6||3||3||2||6||2|
|WP - Tim Wakefield ()|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tim Wakefield 100-62, Manny Delcarmen 10-5, Julian Tavarez 7-4|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Wakefield 5-7, Manny Delcarmen 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Tim Wakefield 26, Manny Delcarmen 4, Julian Tavarez 2|
|Curtis Granderson, CF||1||0||0||0||2||0||1|
|Placido Polanco, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||3|
|Ivan Rodriguez, C||4||1||1||0||0||0||1|
|Magglio Ordonez, RF||4||2||2||3||0||1||1|
|Carlos Guillen, SS||4||1||1||2||0||2||0|
|Marcus Thames, DH||3||1||2||1||0||1||0|
|Craig Monroe, LF||3||0||1||0||0||0||1|
|Chris Shelton, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||2||2|
|Brandon Inge, 3B||3||1||2||0||0||1||0|
|2B - Marcus Thames (, Wakefield)|
|HR - Magglio Ordonez (, Tavarez), Carlos Guillen (, Wakefield), Marcus Thames (, Wakefield)|
|SH - Curtis Granderson ()|
|RBI - Magglio Ordonez 3 (), Carlos Guillen 2 (), Marcus Thames ()|
|2-OUT RBI - Magglio Ordonez 3 (), Carlos Guillen 2 (), Marcus Thames ()|
|PK - Brandon Inge (, Wakefield)|
|Team LOB - 2|
|Jeremy Bonderman (W,-)||7.2||4||2||2||2||6||0|
|Fernando Rodney (S,)||1.1||0||0||0||1||2||0|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Bonderman 99-61, Fernando Rodney 22-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Bonderman 11-6|
|Batters Faced - Jeremy Bonderman 29, Fernando Rodney 5|
|Attendance - 40872|
|Game Time - 2:17|
|Temperature - 65|
|Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - UMP Nonindividual, Third Base - Larry Vanover|