Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/8/13
Some storybook endings aren’t even endings. The earlier and more dramatic finish on Wednesday night between the Tigers and Indians would have been for Miguel Cabrera’s monstrous home run in the eighth off rookie Danny Salazar to hold on as the winning hit. Big star refusing to strike out for a fourth time against an impressive kid? It had everything. Know what though? In the debut of his comeback as a Tiger Jeremy Bonderman as the winning pitcher for working three scoreless innings of relief in a game the Tigers won 6-5 in 14 innings on Prince Fielder’s two-run double was a heck of an ending too. As was Joaquin Benoit holding on for his 14th save despite giving up a run in the bottom of the 14th. Considering all that took place “this was a dandy” manager Jim Leyland said of the game. Once again though it all worked out for the first-place Tigers who not only have won 11 in a row but have dealt the second-place Indians a severe setback by winning the first three games of the four-game series. The Tigers came into the series leading the Indians by three games. They now lead by six. “They have great arms over there” said Torii Hunter “but we just don’t give up. We’re professional hitters. We know how to play the game the right way. “And we know how to come through when we need to.” Making his first appearance as Tiger since Oct. 1 2010 Bonderman blanked the Indians on one hit while striking out three in his three innings. “He threw the ball well” said Leyland. “I was pretty impressed. But a game like this is why I say everyone in the bullpen is important.” Bonderman was still the pitcher of record when the Tigers came up to bat in the top of the 14th and that’s when they finally went in front to stay. Asked if returning to the Tigers was emotional for him Bonderman replied “Not really. It’s just good to get back in the game. “I want to contribute and I was able to do that.” Austin Jackson who hit his eighth home run earlier led off the 14th with a double but it was a walk to Hernan Perez batting third as a defensive replacement after the Tigers took Cabrera out of the game in the bottom of the eighth that proved to be the difference. “My star wouldn’t have come out if he was healthy” said Leyland referring to Cabrera who’s been slowed by an abdominal strain. “My star came out because he’s not 100 percent by any means. He’s not moving real good so we felt it was best to have a better defense in there because of the way he’s been feeling.”
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