Game suffers two rain delays totaling 65 minutes

DETROIT (AP) -- The Los Angeles Angels were trying to figure out how to beat Detroit Tigers ace Jeremy Bonderman.

It took a little help from Mother Nature.

Jeff DaVanon's suicide squeeze broke a seventh-inning tie, sending Los Angeles to a 4-2 victory in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday.

Trailing 2-0 against Bonderman, who dominated them last week, the Angels tied the score with two runs in a driving rain. Then, after Bonderman departed following a delay, they got two more runs off Detroit's bullpen.

"Maybe the rain was able to do what we haven't been able to do with him," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "The first few innings, he was really throwing the ball well."

Bonderman beat the Angels 2-1 last Saturday, allowing one run and four hits in eight innings.

He was pitching a shutout for five innings this time, but with a steady rain falling the Angels tied it with a pair of runs in the sixth. With one out, DaVanon singled and scored on Darin Erstad's double. Bonderman struck out Vladimir Guerrero, but Garret Anderson hit an RBI single with two outs.

Bonderman appeared to slip off the mound on DaVanon's single, but Tigers manager Alan Trammell said he didn't think the rain was a factor.

"He said it wasn't bothering him," Trammell said. "It certainly looked like it on that one pitch, but all I can do is ask him how it was."

The game, which had already been delayed by 26 minutes at the start due to showers, then had another 39-minute delay in the bottom of the sixth inning.

That was all for Bonderman, and the Angels went ahead with two runs off Jamie Walker (2-1) in the seventh. Dallas McPherson led off with an infield single, went to second on a groundout and third on Adam Kennedy's single.

DaVanon then pushed a nice bunt between the mound and first, allowing McPherson to score easily. Walker hurried to field the ball and threw high to first as DaVanon reached safely on a bunt single.

Kennedy scored on Ivan Rodriguez's passed ball with two outs.

Brendan Donnelly (1-0) got the win with two scoreless innings of relief, extending his shutout streak to nine games and 11 2/3 innings. Scot Shields and Francisco Rodriguez finished, with Rodriguez pitching the ninth for his 10th save. He retired Carlos Guillen on a groundout with runners at the corners to end it.

"Our bullpen's been there all year for us," Scioscia said. "I think when we have Donnelly, Shields and Frankie fresh, we can close the games out we need to, to hold leads. I think that if you look at one thing that has worked very, very well for us all year, one component of our game, it's been our bullpen. We're happy with that."

Trammell knew his team wasn't going to match up well in a battle of bullpens.

"We only got one hit after the rain delay, and that was an infield single, but that's their strength," Trammell said. "They bring some good arms out of the 'pen, starting with that last guy."

Angels starter Bartolo Colon also left after the sixth-inning rain delay, allowing two runs and eight hits in five-plus innings.

Detroit took a 2-0 lead with single runs in the third and fourth.

Brandon Inge led off the third with a single, moved to second on a groundout and third on a two-out single by Rondell White. Dmitri Young walked, loading the bases, and Craig Monroe hit an RBI single off shortstop Orlando Cabrera's glove.

In the next inning, Ivan Rodriguez snapped an 0-for-16 slump with an RBI double, scoring Omar Infante.

Inge hit a two-run homer and Monroe had a solo shot as the Tigers beat the Angels 3-2 in the second game, splitting the doubleheader.

Game notes
It was the Angels' first doubleheader since Sept. 6, 2003, in Kansas City. ... Umpire Chad Fairchild made his major-league debut, working at third base. ... Doug Creek made his Tigers debut in the eighth, pitching in the majors for the first time since 2003.