The Tigers continued their domination of National League opponents by defeating the Washington Nationals 8 to 3 to complete a three game sweep. That gives them six victories in a row and back to back sweeps over Washington and Pittsburgh. With the Twins 5 to 1 loss to the Rockies today, the Tigers are now just a game and a half out of first place. They were four and a half out a week ago.
Jeremy Bonderman pitched another strong game retiring the first 11 batters and allowing two runs on five hits to go with seven strikeouts and no walks. With the inconsistent pitching of Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer, Bonderman has been a life saver for the Tigers rotation this year. He has a 4.06 ERA and an impressive 59/20 strikeout walk ratio for the season and has gotten better as the season has progressed. In his last eight starts, he has seven quality starts and has pitched at least seven full innings five times.
Unlike some of his recent starts, the Tigers gave Bonderman plenty of hitting support today. They bombarded starter Luis Atilano and four relievers for 19 hits. Every starter had at least two hits except Don Kelly. Ramon Santiago (four hits) and Magglio Ordonez (three hits) paced the attack. This was all accomplished without the services of Austin Jackson (out with a sore back) and Johnny Damon (a day of rest).
For the series, the Tigers pounded Nationals pitchers for 23 runs on 38 hits. On the other side of the ball, Tigers pitchers struck out 32 while walking just three. The Tigers will attempt to continue their streak in a three game weekend series versus the Diamondbacks.