Tiger Offense explodes in 9-2 victory

After 2 tough losses to Chicago, the Tigers needed to come out and salvage a game from the 3-game series, or otherwise face the reality that they'd be sitting 9 games below the division leader - and more than likely out of the playoff race. Well, the offense decided to take charge, giving the Tiger bullpen plenty of support, after Jeremy Bonderman was thrown out of the game.

The Tigers didn't fare well with the umpiring crew that did their series with the Colorado Rockies last month. Well, on Sunday it was the same crew again, and 2 more Tigers were tossed out.

Jeremy Bonderman let a pitch get away from him, getting close to White Sox DH Carl Everett. No warnings were issued, and the game continued. In the next inning, a slow change-up got away from Bonderman and hit Aaron Rowand in the shoulder. Bonderman was then ejected from the game, despite the fact that he hit a batter with a change-up in a 2-0 count. Manager Alan Trammell argued furiously, but only got himself ejected from the game as well.

But instead of frustrating the Tigers, they seemed to get angry - and they took it out on the White Sox. Wilfredo Ledezma came in for Bonderman and pitched 3 2/3 innings of relief, giving up 1 run and earning his first big league win of the year.

Meanwhile Jon Garland wasn't quite as effective against the Tigers, constantly getting himself into jams. Garland pitched 6 innings and gave up 4 runs before being relieved, and that's when the damage really came on.

Neal Cotts came in and got 2 quick outs. But then a walk, a single, another walk and a hit batter allowed a run and kept the bases loaded. Ozzie Guillen sent Mike Jackson in, hoping to get the final out and stop the threat, but Marcus Thames had other plans - launching a Home Run into the left field stands, his first ever Grand Slam.

From there on out, the Tiger pitchers just held serve to protect the 7-run lead, and walk out of U.S. Cellular Field with a victory.

Marcus Thames was the star at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a double, a Home Run and 5 RBI. Carlos Guillen also had 3 singles, and 3B Eric Munson had 2 hits and 2 walks for the Tigers.

The White Sox managed 10 hits, but were able to generate just 2 runs. Paul Konerko went 2-for-4 with a solo Home Run, but also killed a threat with an inning ending double play. Carlos Lee also went 2-for-3.

Detroit now stands at 7 games out of first place, and 6 games under .500, with less than a week before the July 31st trade deadline. The division games continue, as the Tigers now travel to Cleveland for a 3-game set with the Tribe, who have been hot as of late and are now a game over .500. Mike Maroth is slated to take on Cliff Lee at 7:05pm on Monday.

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