LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) - The Detroit Tigers pitching staff has had better days than it did Sunday, despite a 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
Jeremy Bonderman struggled in his second Grapefruit League starting assignment, surrendering back-to-back home runs to Jeff Francoeur and Casey Kotchman in the first inning. He recorded only four outs before Detroit manager Jim Leyland lifted him with the Tigers down 3-1.
Bonderman, who also walked two batters, likely will miss his first regular-season turn in the rotation as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery that sidelined him for most of last season. He left the clubhouse without speaking to reporters.
Placido Polanco hit a solo home run in the first and teammate Brandon Inge put the Tigers ahead 4-3 with a two-run shot in the second off Braves right-hander Javier Vazquez, who didn't allow another run in six innings of work.