Detroit, MI (Sports Network) – Jeremy Bonderman pitched eight brilliant innings and Alex Avila hit a key two-run double, as the Detroit Tigers topped the Chicago White Sox, 5-1, in the continuation of a four-game series.
Bonderman (8-9) turned in perhaps his best start of the season. He matched a season high in innings pitched and struck out eight, while allowing just one run on three hits and a walk.
Avila’s double came in a four-run fourth inning, during which Brandon Inge hit a two-run single. Ryan Raburn added two hits and scored twice for the Tigers, who have won the last two games in the set after dropping Monday’s opener.
John Danks (13-10) took the loss after allowing five runs — two earned — in six innings. He gave up eight hits and walked three.
Omar Vizquel homered to provide the lone run for the White Sox, who entered Wednesday’s contest 4 1/2 games behind the AL Central-leading Twins. Minnesota hosts Kansas City on Wednesday.
Both pitchers avoided trouble until the fourth inning, when Vizquel got Chicago on the scoreboard with a rare home run. Bonderman threw a fastball in the zone and belt-high, and Vizquel hit it over the wall in right field for his second homer of the season.
But the Tigers struck back in the fourth with an extended rally. Raburn led off with a single, and one out later, Casper Wells reached base on a throwing error by third baseman Mark Teahen. After Jhonny Peralta walked to load the bases, Inge’s single to center plated two.
Danks fanned Don Kelly for the second out, but Avila then crushed a ball to center. It fell just out of Alex Rios’ reach, allowing Peralta and Inge to cross the plate for a 4-1 lead.
Detroit added another run in the fifth, when Raburn doubled to lead off, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Wells’ infield single.
Bonderman finished his outing strong, retiring the final eight batters he faced, and Phil Coke tossed a scoreless ninth to seal the victory.
Bonderman threw 114 pitches (70 for strikes) and got 13 groundouts…Vizquel’s homer was the 80th of his 22-year career…White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski had his 14-game hitting streak broken after going 0-for-3…Chicago first baseman Paul Konerko was back in the lineup after missing two games with a stiff lower back, and went 1-for-4.