The Seattle Mariners' Jeremy Bonderman has turned in a pair of impressive outings since a miserable performance in his first major league start in three seasons.
The right-hander will try to keep rolling when he faces the hot-hitting Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.
Since getting tagged for seven runs in a 10-0 loss in Minnesota on June 2, Bonderman is 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA in two starts and might have earned a second win if not for a disastrous effort from the Seattle bullpen Wednesday against Houston.
Bonderman (1-1, 3.86 ERA) tossed eight scoreless innings against the Astros but the Mariners gave up six runs in the final frame of a 6-1 loss.
"What he is doing is getting the ball to both sides of the plate now, and you're starting to see more velocity," manager Eric Wedge said. "His effort was beyond the call really today especially in that type of ballgame."
Bonderman will try to help the Mariners (31-40) produce a better effort against the Angels (31-39) in his next outing. Seattle has been outscored 30-4 in its last three games in the series, all in Anaheim, and gave up seven runs in the sixth inning Monday en route to an 11-3 defeat.
Albert Pujols and Alberto Callaspo combined for eight of Los Angeles' 21 hits, the most for the team in any game since Aug. 16, 2009.
The Angels are batting .370 and have scored 36 runs while winning four of their last five. Pujols is batting .522 (12 for 23) in those contests, and Howie Kendrick is 11 for 20 (.550) in his last six games.
"I don't know if we're going to get it every night, but 21 hits is a good breakout game for us coming off a good ninth inning Sunday," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, whose team scored five runs in the final inning of a 6-5 loss to the New York Yankees.
The Angels' hitters will next try to help a struggling Joe Blanton (1-10, 5.87) snap a three-game slide. The right-hander, the AL leader in losses, matched a season high by giving up seven runs in a 10-5 loss in Boston on June 9.
Blanton has reportedly tried to work on his mechanics with pitching coach Mike Butcher since that outing. He's gotten a break because the team was off Thursday and didn't need a fifth starter.
"I know Joe, just like any player, he understands it's a proving ground in the major leagues, every day you're out there," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think there is a sense of urgency in the way he likes to compete and what he likes to do. Unfortunately, we're not getting the results and that's where we are right now."
Blanton gave up three runs over six innings in his first matchup with Seattle in nearly five years, a 3-2 loss April 27.
Bonderman will face the Angels for the first time since Aug. 7, 2010, when he was with Detroit. He's 3-4 with a 4.62 ERA in 13 career starts against Los Angeles and 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA in eight all-time games in Anaheim.
The Associated Press News Service
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