SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Barry Bonds' first hit of the season was as
impressive as they come.
Bonds hit a booming three-run homer an estimated 463 feet to
help back Jason Schmidt's crisp pitching, and the San Francisco
Giants beat the San Diego Padres 8-1 Tuesday night."He was telling some guys there, 'I might need a left-handed pitcher to get me in the groove,''' Giants manager Felipe Alou said.Bonds turned on a fat pitch from rookie lefty Mike Bynum on a
2-1 count with one out in the eighth.His 614th career homer landed several feet in front of the lower
right corner of the big scoreboard that's 29 rows beyond the
right-field wall at Qualcomm Stadium.The five-time MVP was 0-for-5 with three walks and three
strikeouts in two games before connecting to give the Giants a 7-0
lead. "I was just trying to participate,'' Bonds said.Bonds didn't look like the slugger he's been the past two
seasons in his first several plate appearances of the year."It happens,'' he said. "I had a good spring, hitting the ball
good all the time. It's early, so it doesn't matter.''Jose Cruz Jr. singled and Rich Aurilia walked ahead of Bonds' homer.Benito Santiago, Ray Durham and Cruz also connected for the
Giants, giving the defending NL champions seven homers in two
games. Santiago and Durham have two apiece."We're having a tough time keeping the ball in the ballpark,''
Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "The long ball is killing us.
That's a tough lineup to get through.''After the Giants lost three of their top four sluggers to free
agency, Alou didn't think they would be a power team."Well, we weren't supposed to be,'' he said. "You see how
smart we are. There might be a thing or two we don't know about
this team.''Bonds has 71 career homers against the Padres, his most against
any team, and 38 in San Diego, his most in any road ballpark. Of
his 120 homers since the start of the 2001 season, 19 have come
against San Diego, including 11 in 2001 when he set the
single-season mark of 73.Bonds hit a grand slam off the lower left corner of the scoreboard on June 5 last season.Schmidt took a two-hit shutout into the eighth and retired the first two batters before running into trouble. Gary Bennett singled, Keith Lockhart walked and Ramon Vazquez hit an RBI double to chase Schmidt. The right-hander struck out seven and walked one."It wasn't my best stuff,'' Schmidt said. "We got a big lead
and I had a lot of room for error. It worked out for the best.''Santiago hit a solo homer to left-center with two outs in the
second off Adam Eaton. Cruz homered into the seats in right leading
off the fourth to make it 2-0. Edgardo Alfonzo had a two-run double
in the fourth.Durham hit a solo shot off Brandon Villafuerte with one out in
the ninth.Santiago hit a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning of Monday's
5-2 win in the season opener.The Padres' first hit was a hard grounder by Mark Kotsay that
bounced off the glove of second baseman Durham in the fourth. It
was ruled a single, but could have just as easily been an error. An inning later, Sean Burroughs hit a clean single to right.Eaton allowed four runs and four hits in six innings, struck out
three and walked two.
Giants closer Robb Nen has a strained right shoulder and
expects to be out two-to-three weeks. Nen was relieved the news
wasn't any worse after being examined Tuesday by Dr. Lewis Yocum of
the Anaheim Angels, who performed arthroscopic surgery on the
reliever's right shoulder Nov. 8. Nen was placed on the 15-day
disabled list before Monday's season opener, retroactive to Sunday.