Bonds sits out afternoon game in Cincinnati with sore legs

Updated: July 4, 2007, 1:06 PM ET
Associated Press

CINCINNATI --A day after hitting his 751st home run, Barry Bonds was held out of San Francisco's starting lineup Wednesday to rest his sore legs.

The Giants played on a toasty Midwest afternoon in the middle contest of their three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. That came on the heels of a night game Tuesday, when Bonds moved within four homers of tying Hank Aaron's record with a two-run shot in the first inning off Aaron Harang. Thursday's series finale is a night game, giving Bonds adequate time to recover.

San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy had said Bonds might play all three games in Great American Ball Park if the slugger felt fine, but the two chatted Wednesday morning and Bonds reported that his legs were bothering him.

"I'm alive," Bonds said, getting ready at his locker before heading out to the field to see Ken Griffey Jr., whose three children were taking batting practice with other Reds' kids.

When asked if it was his decision to sit out, Bonds said curtly, "Does it matter?"

Bochy and Bonds are trying to avoid further problems that could cause Bonds to miss more time. He sat out two games at Arizona last month with shin splints. As long as the seven-time NL MVP feels OK, Bochy said he likely would play the final four games of the club's road trip -- including a three-game weekend series in St. Louis.

Bonds, who was available to pinch hit Wednesday, is set to start in left field for the National League in the All-Star game next Tuesday in San Francisco -- meaning that getting much rest during the All-Star break won't happen.

"I talked to Barry quite a while here," Bochy said. "It's general soreness. He talked about doing something to get ready. I said, 'Let's give you a day today.' With the travel, a night game to day game, I'd rather give him a day to get fresh for the rest of the road trip. ... We'll see how it goes. If he feels good, he'll play the rest of them."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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