CHICAGO (AP) -- Angered by an umpire's decision to eject their
starting pitcher and manager in the second inning, the Detroit
Tigers responded in the best way possible -- with good baseball.
Marcus Thames hit his first career grand slam, Carlos Guillen
had three more hits, Bobby Higginson made a great throw and
Wilfredo Ledezma pitched well on short notice Sunday as the Tigers
beat the Chicago White Sox 9-2.
"That was not the way you would design it," Alan Trammell said
Konerko's 26th homer gave the White Sox a 1-0 lead and after
Bonderman retired Ross Gload, he hit Rowand with a high pitch on
the left shoulder.
Plate umpire Kevin Kelley immediately ejected Bonderman, sending
an enraged Trammell out of the dugout to argue, prompting his
ejection moments later. Bonderman was replaced by Ledezma (1-0),
who allowed a run on four hits in 3 2-3 innings.
"It was a 2-0 breaking ball and it just slipped out of my hand.
It's just a freak thing, I don't know what to say. I've never had
it happen," Bonderman said. "I wasn't even mad, I was just like
trying to plead my case to him. There was nothing you could do out
there, it was already done."
Trammell said Kelley used poor judgment.
"There was no intent," Trammell said. "I think he
overreacted. You need to think about it. You're not going to hit
someone with a breaking ball or a changeup."
Even Rowand said he wasn't hit intentionally.
"It got me in the shoulder and I think it might have had
something to do with the fact my helmet came off when I turned,"
Rowand said. "It really only grazed me."
Kelley said the ejection was the result of several incidents in
the second inning: an earlier up-and-in pitch to Carl Everett;
Konerko's homer; and another line drive by Gload.
"So there is nobody on base and there's two outs and the pitch
right at the guy's head, at Rowand's head," Kelley said.
"He kind of put his shoulder up there, but it was way up and in
and the bottom line is I think he did it intentionally and
therefore I ejected him."
Detroit led 4-2 headed into the seventh when Chicago reliever
Neal Cotts walked two and gave up a single to Guillen to load the
bases. Cotts hit Carlos Pena with a pitch, forcing in a run, before
Thames drove a 3-2 pitch from Mike Jackson for a grand slam.
"We needed this one," Thames said, acknowledging the ejections
were unsettling. "It shocked me. A breaking ball. I've never seen
that before in my life."
Singles by Higginson and Guillen -- 8-for-13 in the series--
followed by Dmitri Young's sacrifice fly increased the lead to 4-1
in the fifth.
Garland complained that Kelley told him after the ejections to
be careful with inside pitches.
"When I went out there in the third inning, he tells me, if he
thinks I'm throwing inside on purpose, just throwing inside, he's
going to toss me from the game," Garland said after giving up six
hits and four runs in six innings.
"He's taking half the plate away from me."
Higginson made a great throw from the right-field corner to get
Gload at third in the fifth and water down a rally by the White
Gload singled and when Rowand's fly down the line fell just out
of a sliding Higginson's reach, he held up momentarily. With Rowand
right on his heels at first, Gload then tried to make it to third
but was out easily.
It turned out to be a big play because Jamie Burke hit an RBI
single to right -- Higginson's throw to the plate was way high -- to
cut the lead to 4-2.
Tigers star Ivan Rodriguez got the day off to rest. ... OF
Alex Sanchez is expected to rejoin the Tigers on Monday in
Cleveland. He was gone for three days to be with his wife in Miami
where she gave birth to twin boys. ... Rowand was also hit by a
pitch from Jason Johnson on Saturday night.