Just being back on the mound was not enough for Jeremy Bonderman.
DUNEDIN, Fla. - Just being back on the mound was not enough for Jeremy Bonderman.
Bonderman worked two scoreless innings yesterday in the Detroit Tigers' 7-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays after missing most of the last two seasons because of a blood clot in his right shoulder that required surgery.
"I was just all over the place. The adrenaline got me out of sync a little bit," Bonderman said. "I was able to get out of it and [in] the second inning I just kind of tried to stay within myself and work on using the mechanics I've been working on, just trying to stay on top of the ball and let my arm catch up."
Bonderman, a 14-game winner in 2005 and again in 2006, and winner of 11 in 2007 before having surgery in June '08, struck out three and allowed one hit.
He allowed a single and a walk to the first two batters he faced before striking out Adam Lind and, after a double steal, striking out Vernon Wells and getting Lyle Overbay on a routine grounder. He had a 1-2-3 second inning.
"I'm not satisfied with having one good outing," Bonderman added. "This is a long haul for me. It's one day at a time."
The teams combined for eight of their 13 runs in the final two innings. The Blue Jays took a 5-2 lead with two runs in the top of the eighth, then Toronto charged back with four against Dan Schlereth in the bottom half, three on Chris Lubanski's home run.
But the Tigers' two-out rally in the ninth on Wiklin Ramirez's single, Casper Wells' pinch-hit triple to left-center field, and Mike Rabelo's RBI single to center gave the Tigers the win.
Ricky Romero, bidding for the No. 1 spot in the rotation vacated by the traded Roy Halladay, made one damaging pitch in his two innings of work, a bases-empty, wind-aided homer to right by Brent Dlugach with two outs in the second.
"It was a tough day out there with the wind blowing, one of those days you love to be a left-handed hitter," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said.
Romero gave up two hits, had a strikeout and no walks. Gaston said Romero looked a lot better this time than early last spring.
"Control problems," Gaston said. "Now you don't see that. There's a little bit of confidence along with the hard work. He looked great. I think he just got a little careless at the end. Otherwise he pitched great."
NOTES: LHP Marc Rzepczynski will start for Toronto and RHP Rick Porcello for the Tigers today at Lakeland. ... Pat Gillick, the Blue Jays' general manager when they won the 1992 and 1993 World Series, was at the game. Gillick was GM of Philadelphia's 2008 world champions and now is special advisor to the Phillies.
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