MINNEAPOLIS – Jeremy Bonderman had a rough return to the majors.
Bonderman allowed seven earned runs in just 4 2/3 innings and the Minnesota Twins beat the Seattle Mariners 10-0 Sunday afternoon. Bonderman (0-1) gave up nine hits, including three home runs, and struck out just one batter.
“It was a lot of fun to walk out there and get back on the field, but you got to pitch better than that,” he said.
The 30-year-old had not pitched in a big league game since Oct. 1, 2010, a span of 975 days. Battling injuries, he did not pitch in 2011 and then underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in April 2012.
Signed as a free agent on Jan. 9, he failed to make the Mariners out of Spring Training, where he was a non-roster invitee, and went 2-4 with a 4.52 ERA in 11 starts at Triple-A Tacoma. He was the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week April 29-May 5.
Bonderman, who grew up in Pasco, was activated Sunday to replace Brandon Maurer in the Mariners’ rotation. Maurer, sent to Triple-A last Wednesday, was 2-7 with a 6.93 ERA in 10 starts.
“He just has to go out there, take what he learned from this and make the adjustments,” said manager Eric Wedge. “He can’t let this one beat him up. First time back and that’s a good thing, too. He needs to have some good work days and go out there and just be better next time.”
Bonderman has had plenty of past success. Although he was just 67-77 in eight seasons with Detroit, he had 14-win seasons in 2005 and 2006 before injuries began to get the better of him.
“I never knew I’d ever get back,” he said. “You just got to work hard and leave it all out there so I don’t have anything to be disappointed in or look back and say, ‘I could have done this or could have done that.’ I just appreciate being out there on that field again. It’s not something you take for granted. You just got to find a way to be better.”
After a perfect first inning, including a strikeout, Bonderman was roughed up in the second. Minnesota scored three times with the first five batters reaching base, including a home run by Moses Lake native Ryan Doumit and doubles by Chris Parmelee, Brian Dozier and Aaron Hicks.
The Twins added two runs in the fourth on Chris Herrmann’s homer and Pedro Florimon’s sacrifice fly. Bonderman was pulled after Herrmann’s sharp two-out single in the fifth, an inning that started with a walk to Joe Mauer and home run by Josh Willingham that put the Twins up 7-0.
“My fastball was up at times and you get beat when your fastball’s up, so that was the biggest problem,” Bonderman said. “I didn’t keep the ball down enough. My game is ground balls, so if you can’t keep the ball down you’re going to get hurt.”
Hector Noesi allowed seven hits and three earned runs, including a solo home run to Dozier, in 2 1/3 innings of relief. Danny Farquhar had two strikeouts in one inning of work.
It was the seventh time this season Seattle has allowed an opponent to score in double digits, and the second time in four games the Twins have hit four homers; they did it Thursday in an 8-6 victory over Milwaukee.
The M’s had just five hits.
Three of those came in the first inning off Minnesota starter Scott Diamond (4-4), but Seattle couldn’t score thanks to a double play. Diamond, who struggled in last four starts allowing 19 earned runs in 20 1/3 innings, pitched six strong innings.
Bonderman took the roster spot that was made available after Justin Smoak was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right oblique strain.