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Updated: Sunday, May 4, 2003 6:42 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
3 6 1
Detroit Tigers
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
7 11 0
W Bonderman (2-4)
L Sosa (1-4)
S Spurling (1)
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DETROIT 7, TAMPA BAY 3
 

DETROIT (Ticker) -- Rookie Jeremy Bonderman threw six strong innings for his second win and Carlos Pena and Craig Monroe gave the Detroit Tigers some rare offensive production.

Bonderman (2-4) gave up two runs and three hits and Pena and Monroe combined for five hits and three RBI as the woeful Tigers had their biggest offensive outburst of the season and halted a six-game losing streak with a 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays .

The 20-year-old Bonderman, making just his sixth major league start, walked one and struck out five. He threw 82 pitches and retired the last 12 batters he faced.

"I felt good, but I had thrown a lot of pitches in my two previous starts and they wanted to sit me down," Bonderman said. "I made a bad pitch, it happens, but I came back and battled all game."

Rookie Chris Spurling gave up one run and three hits with a walk and a strikeout in three innings for his first major league save.

"Runs this year have been hard to come by and I didn't want to give any up and give the Devil Rays momentum," Spurling said.

Monroe tied the game, 2-2, with a run-scoring single in the fourth and Pena put the Tigers ahead for good, 4-2, on a two-run homer two innings later.

The 26-year-old Monroe also helped Bonderman out as he leaped over the left field fence to snare a long fly ball by Aubrey Huff with a runner on third and two outs in the third inning. Huff, who homered twice in Tampa Bay's win Saturday, hit Spurling's 1-0 offering over the right field fence with one out in the ninth for his team-leading eighth homer.

"I didn't see it," Huff said about the catch. "I heard it. I reached first and heard the crowd. Then I saw the replay and it was a great catch."

"We swung the bat well for two days in a row and I just hope it's the start of a roll," Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. "We've played OK, but the record shows we're terrible. But we haven't been terrible. We'll see improvement and we'll get better."

Tampa Bay starter Jorge Sosa (1-4) gave up four runs and seven hits in seven innings and lost his third straight start.

The Devil Rays were trying for their first three-game sweep at Detroit and fell to 24-20 all-time against the Tigers, the only American League team they own a winning record against.

"Anytime you win two of three on the road you've got to be pleased," said Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella , who Saturday served a one-game suspension for his part in a brawl with Minnesota earlier in the week. "We were in the position three of the last four series to win our last game and didn't do it."

Detroit had managed to score six runs just three times previously this year, and lost two of those games.

The Tigers grabbed the lead in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Andres Torres , but the Devil Rays went ahead in the second. With one out, Al Martin doubled and Toby Hall followed by hitting Bonderman's 1-0 pitch over the left field fence for his third homer.

Pena led off the fourth with a double to left-center field and Monroe followed with an RBI single up the middle.

Dmitri Young started the sixth with a base hit and Pena followed by sending Sosa's 2-0 pitch over the left field wall for his third homer.

Victor Zambrano relieved Sosa and Bobby Higginson greeted him with a leadoff double in the eighth. Higginson scored, when Zambrano threw wildly to first after fielding Young's comebacker and Pena followed with a base hit. The runners moved up when Zambrano uncorked a wild pitch. Another wild pitch by Zambrano allowed Young to score and Eric Munson lifted a sacrifice fly to center to plate Pena with Detroit's final run.

"The fact that we got three runs in the eighth was huge," Trammell said. "We led 4-2 in the eighth and you feel you're going to win it, but the way things are going..."


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