Record, held by three men, is eight straight
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds hit his 667th home run Tuesday night, the seventh straight game in which he's had an at-bat and homered.
Bonds is one homer shy of matching the major league record for consecutive games with a homer, which is shared by Dale Long (1956), Don Mattingly (1987) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1993).
Bonds, third on the all-time list behind Hank Aaron's 755 and Babe Ruth's 714, had a pinch-hit walk Wednesday, which does not stop the streak under baseball's rules.
His ninth homer of the season, a two-run shot off Brian Lawrence, landed in McCovey Cove on the bounce and a fan dived over the railing and into the waters to retrieve it. Bonds' homer pulled the Giants to 6-2. Pedro Feliz connected two batters later.
When Bonds stepped on home plate, the slugger did his traditional kiss of the hands and pointed to the sky, then pointed right at new Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp, dressed in a Giants jacket and sitting only a few rows up, a little to the right of home plate.
Bonds homered in six straight games twice during the 2001 season when he set the season record of 73 homers. He did it from April 12-18 and again from May 17-22.
Bonds has hit eight homers during this seven-game stretch, an NL record for the most in seven games. Mattingly holds the major-league record with nine in seven games during his streak in '87.
Before the game, Padres manager Bruce Bochy reiterated San Diego planned to pitch to Bonds in certain situations.
"Where would this game be if we didn't pitch to Babe Ruth?" Bochy said. "We're trying to win every game. You don't take the bat out completely out of his hand. There is an obligation at times to pitch to him. Fans pay a lot of money to watch him hit."
That didn't include the first inning, when the slugger came up with Marquis Grissom on first. Bonds walked on four pitches. He also walked in the sixth and seventh innings.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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