Bonderman had a healthy 4-1 lead, and the right-hander had retired five batters in a row when Rangers left fielder David Murphy crushed a slider in the direction of the right-field foul pole to start the bottom of the fourth.
First-base umpire Jerry Layne ruled a home run, saying after the game that he saw Murphy's drive go over the top of the foul pole. Tigers manager Jim Leyland argued that the ball sailed to the right of the foul pole. The umpires went in for a video review, and Layne came back out and ruled it was a home run to cut the Tigers' lead to 4-2. The Rangers later tied the game in the inning.
"What did you guys see?" Leyland said. "You guys all saw it? Fair or foul? Foul ball? Then you don't have to ask me. You guys should write what you saw instead of asking me and you should voice your opinion and you should voice yours on the TV.
"You don't have to ask me, because you saw it. It's as simple as that. Why should I get involved in it and get in trouble over it when you guys saw it? Write it. Put it on TV and write it. It's that simple. You don't need my opinion. You guys saw it. It was a foul ball, so say it was a foul ball."
Layne told a pool reporter after the game that he saw things differently.
"There was no evidence it was any different from what I had seen on the field," Layne said.
"You need irreversible doubt to change the call. It's where the ball is going out of the ballpark, straight over the fence, that matters. And it basically went over the foul pole. From what I saw out there, and what the video didn't disprove, it was a home run."
The inning unraveled for the oft-erratic Bonderman after the umpires' ruling. Bonderman hit Vladimir Guerrero, and after a fielder's choice by Nelson Cruz, he walked Ian Kinsler. Rookie Mitch Moreland followed with a line-drive single up the middle to make it 4-3, and the Rangers tied the game later in the inning when Brandon Inge booted a ground ball to third.
Leyland said the video review didn't impact Bonderman.
"Had nothing to do with it," Leyland said.
The Tigers played like a team out of the postseason race in Tuesday's loss. They had two crushing errors, and the bullpen allowed seven runs as Detroit fell below .500 for the season (72-73).
Sloppy defense plagued both teams, and doomed the Tigers in the bottom of the sixth with the game tied at 4. Reliever Robbie Weinhardt came in after Daniel Schlereth got the first out of the inning. Weinhardt allowed back-to-back singles to Elvis Andrus and Michael Young to put runners at first and third.
Will Rhymes, who had replaced Scott Sizemore at second base after pinch-hitting for him in the top of the inning, then booted a ground ball at second base, and even though Andrus would have scored, it extended the inning for the Rangers.
After getting Guerrero for the second out, Weinhardt had a sharp grounder by Cruz bounce off his arm into center field, allowing Young to score. Kinsler then singled to make it 7-4.
Reliever Eddie Bonine didn't fare any better in the bottom of the seventh, allowing three straight singles, including consecutive bunt hits by Julio Borbon and Andrus, in front of Young's bases-clearing double for a 10-4 Rangers lead.
"Our bullpen didn't do a very good job," Leyland said. "Bondo was out there on pure determination. He really battled his tail off and gave us a shot, but he didn't have much."
The Tigers took a 4-1 lead with two runs in the third and another in the fourth, taking advantage of fielding errors by the Rangers in each inning.
Detroit loaded the bases in the top of the third as Sizemore, playing for the first time since late July, led off with a single. Ryan Raburn was hit by a pitch, and Miguel Cabrera reached to load the bases when Kinsler dropped a popup at second base.
The Tigers took advantage when Jhonny Peralta delivered a sacrifice fly to left field and Casper Wells hit a two-out single for a 3-1 lead.
Ramon Santiago started off the Tigers' fourth-inning rally when he reached second base when Cruz misplayed a fly ball in right field. After Austin Jackson grounded out, Sizemore notched his 10th RBI of the season on a single to center field.
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.