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Bonderman stars for Tigers

Bonderman stars for Tigers on Saturday night

Jeremy Bonderman won't be going to the All-Star Game. He'll be going home instead, which suits him fine. Saturday will be his chance to go out of the first half with an exclamation point.

His season has been a whirlwind already, and it's only at the halfway point. Bonderman was the hard-luck pitcher who couldn't buy a win for all his quality work in April. Then he was the injured pitcher who couldn't seem to shake his blister problems in May. Once he came back, he was the pitcher nobody could beat, certainly not at the rate the Tigers were scoring runs in support of him.

His season-long unbeaten streak finally came to an end two starts ago, after which he became the same old Bonderman most everyone remembers. By dueling the Twins out for out on Sunday night on national television, he helped the Tigers salvage a game in that series with a 1-0 decision. He was the go-to pitcher, the streak-stopper that he wants to be for this team, and the Tigers responded.

He isn't an All-Star yet, though he keeps coming close.

"I think Jeremy's a real young right-hander, and I think there's All-Star Games in the future for him," manager Jim Leyland said. "But I took [Johan] Santana over him because Santana was voted for by the players, and Jeremy said he respected me for that."

The way he seems to pitch each first half, he's almost bound to get to the Midsummer Classic if he repeats it. As badly as he wants it, though, he also likes having the break. He'll take the player support as a consolation prize.

"It's just nice to know that your teammates think that you should be there," Bonderman said. "For me, it's nice to be recognized at all. To have people believe that you should be there, that's gratifying enough for me."

Pitching matchup
BOS: LHP Kason Gabbard (2-0, 5.79 ERA)
Gabbard couldn't make it out of the sixth on Monday against the Rangers, but he was otherwise effective in a game in which he received seven runs of support. The second-year lefty struck out five, allowing three earned runs over 5 2/3 frames, and earned his second win of the season. He has never faced Detroit.

DET: RHP Jeremy Bonderman (9-1, 3.58 ERA)
Bonderman followed his first loss of the season by tossing eight scoreless innings last Sunday night in a duel with Minnesota's Scott Baker, earning the win in a 1-0 victory. He's 3-4 in his career against the Red Sox, but he had two quality starts against them last year, striking out 14 batters over 15 1/3 combined innings.

Player to watch
Marcus Thames is 5-for-15 over his last five games with three home runs and eight RBIs while collecting regular playing time.

 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• WJBK 2

On radio
• WXYT 1270

Up next
• Sunday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 10-5, 3.53) at Tigers (Nate Robertson, 4-6, 4.86), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Tigers (TBA) at Mariners (Jarrod Washburn, 8-6, 3.72), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Tigers (TBA) at Mariners (Miguel Batista, 8-7, 4.54), 10:05 p.m. ET

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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