Tigers Kick Off Home Opener with a Dud

After a 5-1 start, the Tigers had not only the city of Detroit, but the entire baseball community stirring with talk of the club. The team came home to Detroit with much fanfare, but couldn't come through for the fans as they dropped their home opener in front of a sold out Comerica Park.

Things started off well for the Tigers. Jeremy Bonderman looked good, and hit 97mph on the gun in the first inning. Then in the second inning, with the White Sox still scoreless, outfielder Craig Monroe put a charge into a ball that reached the left field seats to take a 2-0 lead.

The lead didn't last long though, as in the top of the third, Jim Thome put an exclamation mark on his return to Comerica Park with a two run bomb deep into the right field seats – so deep in fact that right fielder Magglio Ordonez never took a step, just simply watched as the ball sailed over his head.

The White Sox then jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning, when Bonderman left a change-up hanging right in the middle of the plate against Joe Crede. Crede, who also stole a pair of hits down the line from the Tigers defensively, took Bonderman deep.

Bonderman would come out after seven innings, but the damage had already been done. He gave up four runs on six hits, including eight strikeouts.

The Tigers were able to get one run back in the bottom half of the sixth via a Chris Shelton double down the line that scored Ivan Rodriguez, but it was the only time the Tigers were able to come up with a big hit in a big situation. The rest of the game was marked for the Tigers for an all-too-familiar situation when it comes to the Tigers; missed opportunities.

In the seventh, Craig Monroe led off the inning with a single that fell in left field after Scott Podsednik misjudged it, but Brandon Inge popped out when trying to bunt him over. He would be stranded at first. In the eighth, after Rodriguez was questionably called out when first baseman Paul Konerko was pulled off the bag, Magglio Ordonez followed it up with a single. But Dmitri Young immediately after grounded into a double play, ending the Tigers chance of getting back into it.

Just prior to that in the top half of the eighth inning, Konerko welcomed Joel Zumaya to the big leagues, taking him deep to get the final of 5-3.

Among the notables, Rodriguez finished 2-for-4 with a run and a stolen base, while Monroe went 2-for-4 with his home run, driving in two. Zumaya pitched the final 1 2/3 innings, striking out a batter while giving up the Konerko homer as his lone hit allowed. Young didn't come up big at the plate, but did provide a highlight when he stole third base (sliding in safe only because his helmet came out and bounced up into Crede, forcing him to move back and pick up his glove and allowing Young to slide in underneath).

The Tigers and White Sox are off on Tuesday, but get back into action on Wednesday afternoon. Nate Robertson is slated to face Jose Contreras at 1:05pm.


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