Bonderman continues breakout, helps down A's 5-1

The Tigers returned to the .500 mark on Tuesday night with a 5-1 win over the Oakland Athletics. In a rematch of the two young studs of each team (Jeremy Bonderman and Rich Harden), both pitched well again, but this time around Bonderman had the upper hand and took the win with some help from the Tiger offense.

At the end of Spring Training, it was obvious that Jeremy Bonderman had an extremely bright future ahead of him, probably solidifying himself at the top of the Tiger rotation within the next couple of years. Well, after a quarter of the 2004 season has been played, it appears Bonderman is already well on his way to the top.

Tuesday night against Oakland was just another example of the young 21 year old's ability. In the game, Bonderman went 7 innings, allowing only 1 run off 4 hits while striking out 5. Steve Colyer and Esteban Yan pitched the 8th and 9th innings respectively to close it out for the Tigers.

Bonderman's counterpart, Rich Harden, had a solid outing himself, but not quite at the level of Bonderman. Harden pitched 6 innings allowing 3 runs. A trio of relievers pitched an inning apiece, with Ricardo Rincon allowing the final 2 runs to score in the 9th off a Craig Monroe pinch-hit Home Run.

Besides Monroe's Home Run (his first in more than a month), SS Carlos Guillen had a 2-run triple in the 3rd and OF Rondell White added a solo Home Run in the 6th inning - his 8th of the year.

The A's only run came off a Home Run by Erubiel Durazo, his 7th of the season.

The win puts the Tigers back at the .500 mark with 19 wins and 19 losses, 4 games out of first place in the AL Central. The Tigers take on the A's again Wednesday night, with another rematch, the former teammates Mike Maroth and Mark Redman facing each other once again (Maroth got the best of Redman last week in the matchup). First pitch is set for 10:05pm - no TV however.

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