Bonderman ends drought, strikes out eight as Tigers top A's

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Miguel Cabrera wasn't feeling well early Thursday and decided to skip breakfast. His appetite caught up with him later and he munched on an energy bar.

"Eating the energy bar helped because I didn't have anything in my stomach," Cabrera said. "I was feeling pretty good after that."

No kidding.

Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to help Jeremy Bonderman win for the first time in more than a month, and the Detroit Tigers went on to beat the Oakland Athletics 5-2 on Thursday and complete a two-game sweep.

Cabrera has turned the AL West into his personal playground. He leads all active major league hitters with a .349 average against the four teams in 100 career games, and also hit his 21st home run to go with 93 RBIs.

He snapped an 0-for-12 streak with a single in the third before his deep shot, while Magglio Ordonez added a pair of RBIs and Ramon Santiago drove in a run. They helped Detroit win for the fourth time in five games.

And they helped Bonderman (2-2) finally get a win. He gave up a run before allowing a hit, walking the bases loaded in the third and then hitting Kurt Suzuki with a pitch. But he was strong the rest of the way, allowing three hits and four walks over six innings, and struck out a season-high eight to move into 17th on the Tigers' career strikeout list with 854.

"I got out of rhythm and had no idea what I was doing," Bonderman said. "I got it back together though and I thought I pitched well. I just have to throw strikes."

Bonderman has not allowed more than two runs in his past three starts while allowing at least three runs in the previous three.

"He was throwing strikes," Tigers catcher Alex Avila said. "He threw a couple of different breaking balls. His 2-seamer was probably his best pitch. He was getting a lot of ground ball outs with it. That one inning he got out of rhythm but he made the adjustments."

Tyson Ross (1-2) lasted four innings for Oakland, allowing three runs on seven hits.

He was an emergency starter for Oakland when Justin Duchscherer was unable to start last Saturday. He's given up seven runs over 10 2/3 innings after allowing six in his first 16.

"I was throwing the ball where I wanted to and they were doing a good job of putting the ball in play," Ross said after his second start. "I like starting. It's nice to know when I'm going to pitch. The last five days were nice."

Vin Mazzaro, who was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento earlier in the day, took over for Ross and gave up Cabrera's ninth home run of the season before keeping Detroit at bay.

Daric Barton singled home a run against Phil Coke in the seventh to make it 5-2.

"We just didn't score enough runs," A's manager Bob Geren said. "We were a swing or two away."

Coke went 1 1/3 innings, Ryan Perry got the final two outs of the eighth and Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances.

"There was that one stretch where Bondo couldn't find the plate but he sharpened up pretty quick," Tigers' manager Jim Leyland said. "A lot of good things happened."

Game notes
Bonderman surpassed Milt Wilcox on the Tigers' strikeout list. ... Tigers OF Austin Jackson has a hit in 19 of 20 road games. ... Bonderman has limited opponents to a .115 average (7 for 61) the first time through the lineup. ... A's RHP Henry Rodriguez was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento to make room for Mazzaro. ... Barton is hitting .350 (28 for 80) at home and .191 on the road. ... The Tigers are 18-2 when scoring five or more runs. ... Valverde has not allowed a run in his last 18 outings covering 17 2/3 innings. ... A's Mark Ellis and Coco Crisp will continue their rehab assignments at Sacramento on Friday.