Bonds became the first player to hit 30 or more home runs in 13
straight seasons, but the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the San Francisco
Giants 8-7 Tuesday night on Rob Mackowiak's RBI double with two
outs in the ninth inning.
Bonds homered leading off the seventh, tying the score 4-all
against reliever John Grabow. It made Bonds just the second player
to hit 30 homers 14 times -- only Hank Aaron (15) has more.
Jimmie Foxx is the only other player with 12 consecutive
30-homer seasons, accomplishing the feat from 1929-40.
"He's possibly the best player that ever played," Pittsburgh's
Jack Wilson said. "He's got that perfect home-run swing, and you
don't get surprised by anything that guy does."
Bonds, who walked in his first two plate appearances, had his
first 30-homer season with the Pirates in 1990 when he hit 33. He
hit 25 homers the following season and began his streak with 34 in
1992, his last season with Pittsburgh.
Bonds, who did not speak to reporters after the game, also
became the seventh player in major league history to reach base
5,000 times when he walked in the first inning.
After Wilson singled in the ninth off Matt Herges (4-5),
Mackowiak's drive off the right-field wall was fielded by Michael
Tucker. Ray Durham's relay throw to the plate wasn't perfect, but
catcher A.J. Pierzynski still thought he would get Wilson as he
lunged across the plate.
"The throw was a little up the (first-base) line, but the guy
made a great slide," Pierzynski said. "I pretty much put my glove
across the plate, but the umpire said he got around it."
Wilson was happy the throw beat him home.
"I saw where Pierzynski's glove was going to be," Wilson said.
"He just reached out and I was able to get around it."
Tucker hit his second home run of the game and 12th of the
season off Jose Mesa with two outs in the top of the ninth to tie
it at 7. Tucker also hit a solo homer in the second inning off Josh
Mesa (3-1) earned the win despite blowing a save, and the
Pirates won their third straight game.
"We didn't have a lot of hits, but we certainly had the hits we
needed," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Ty Wigginton's RBI single off Jason Christiansen capped a
three-run rally with two outs in the eighth to give the Pirates a
7-6 lead. Tike Redman's two-run double off Christiansen tied it at
6. Craig Wilson had reached on an error by shortstop Cody Ransom
after Mackowiak's one-out single.
"I was just telling myself to relax," Redman said. "My first
three at-bats I was so tense. I wanted to hit the ball so bad. I
just told myself it was an important at-bat and that something good
might happen. Then I just felt relaxed."
Grabow faced four batters and allowed four hits. After
Pierzynski followed Bonds' homer with a solo homer to give San
Francisco a 5-4 lead, Grabow allowed a double to Marquis Grissom
and an infield single to Tucker. Salomon Torres struck out Cruz,
and Grissom scored when the Pirates couldn't turn a double play on
pinch-hitter Ricky Ledee's grounder to second.
San Francisco starter Brett Tomko allowed four runs in six
innings, including a solo homer by Craig Wilson in the sixth that
gave the Pirates a 4-3 lead. It was his 19th homer, a career high.
Fogg allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings.
The Pirates' third-inning double play was their 132nd of
the season, most in the majors. They have turned 32 double plays in
the last 21 games. ... The Giants fell to 27-27 on the road. ...
Jack Wilson hit his 10th triple, most in the NL.