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A trio of rookies helped the Detroit Tigers open their road trip on a positive note.

The Tigers might again need to rely on their youth while trying to complete a two-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics on Thursday afternoon.

After a sore heel kept veteran outfielder Magglio Ordonez out of Wednesday's lineup, rookie Casper Wells delivered a two-run double in his place to highlight a four-run seventh inning in Detroit's 5-1 win over Oakland (20-21).

Wells, fellow rookie center fielder Austin Jackson and second baseman Danny Worth combined to go 7 for 13 with four RBIs as the Tigers (23-17) opened a seven-game trip with their sixth win in nine contests.

Detroit is 9-11 on the road this season.

"If we can play better on the road, the sky is the limit for this team," Johnny Damon told the Tigers' official website. "Hopefully we can start playing well right now."

With Ordonez day-to-day with the injury, manager Jim Leyland might need to further count on any or all of those rookies for the rest of the trip.

While Wells and Worth made their major league debuts last week, Jackson is batting .331 as the Tigers leadoff man from the start of the season. Jackson is hitting .380 during an 11-game road hitting streak.

After Justin Verlander allowed four hits for his first complete game since July, Detroit hopes Jeremy Bonderman (1-2, 4.93 ERA) can follow with another strong outing in this contest.

The right-hander, who pitched a scoreless inning of relief in a 5-1 win over Boston on Sunday, hasn't won since beating Cleveland on April 10. Bonderman allowed two runs and struck out a season-high seven in seven innings of an 8-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Sunday.

"It was a good step," Bonderman said. "It was only one start, but I'll take it any day of the week. I'm looking forward to building off it."

Bonderman is 3-3 with a 3.77 ERA in seven starts against the A's, including 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA in four at Oakland.

The A's look to bounce back after losing for the sixth time in eight games Wednesday.

Eric Chavez singled in the opener and is batting .320 in his last eight games for the A's. He's 6 for 15 with two doubles off Bonderman.

Oakland rookie Tyson Ross (1-1, 3.97) makes his second career start in place of injured right-hander Justin Duchscherer.

"I'm happy to get the start," Ross told the Athletics' official website. "I'm just going to go out there and try to put up some zeros to help this team out."

After making 11 appearances out of the bullpen, the right-hander retired the first 11 batters he faced before allowing three runs in 3 2-3 innings of his first start in a 12-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday.

Tagged: Tigers, Athletics, Jeremy Bonderman, Austin Jackson

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