Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

San Francisco leads 1-0 (as of 9/12)

Game 1: Monday, September 12
San Diego3Final
San Francisco4
Game 2: Tuesday, September 13
San Diego4Final
San Francisco5
Game 3: Wednesday, September 14
San Diego5Final
in 10
San Francisco4

Padres 3

(71-72, 32-40 away)

Giants 4

(65-78, 32-40 home)

    10:15 PM ET, September 12, 2005

    AT&T Park, San Francisco, California 

    123456789 R H E
    SD 300000000 3 5 0
    SF 02020000 - 4 12 0

    W: M. Kinney (1-0)

    L: A. Eaton (10-4)

    S: A. Benitez (13)

    Giant comeback: Bonds 1-for-4 in winning return

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Barry Bonds tested his fragile knee with the world watching and came out of his season debut believing what he's thought all along: He can still play baseball at the highest level in his early 40s.

    In his first game for San Francisco, Bonds strode to the plate Monday night, tipped his batting helmet to the roaring, flashbulb-popping crowd, then helped the Giants rally from a three-run deficit to beat the first-place San Diego Padres 4-3.

    "There's just no doubt in my mind that I can keep playing the game at a high level," Bonds said.

    Bonds, who went 1-for-4 with a strikeout, worked a 3-2 count in his first at-bat and lined a double that fell just shy of clearing the wall in left-center.

    For an instant, Bonds thought he had another home run.

    "Truthfully, I felt I didn't want to let the city down," said Bonds, who admitted to being exhausted though he plans to play again Tuesday. "That's the feeling you have out there. They came to see you play, and you really want to put on a good performance for them."

    In his first trip to the plate since last October, a fan reached over the fence and interfered with the ball, collecting it into the stands, and the play was ruled a double.

    The scoreboard briefly flashed "704" -- a premature celebration. Bonds scored moments later on Ray Durham's single. The fan was immediately ejected for interfering with play.

    "I was wondering where the ball was," Bonds said. "I was trying to get us a run."

    While this was Bonds' night all the way, Durham hit a solo homer that tied the game at 3 in the fourth and Edgardo Alfonzo added three hits. Durham finished with three hits and two RBI, showing he is a reliable option in the fifth hole behind Bonds if Moises Alou misses significant time with a pulled groin. Rudy Seanez even intentionally walked Durham after Bonds struck out in the seventh.

    "I never thought that would happen," Durham said with a chuckle, referring to the notion of him getting walked and Bonds seeing pitches. "He definitely brings a presence to our lineup."

    Mike Matheny hit a go-ahead single in the fourth, and Matt Kinney (1-0) pitched 5 2-3 shutout innings of relief for the win. Kinney worked the longest relief outing of his career and the longest by a San Francisco pitcher since 2002.

    San Diego (71-72), which could become the first first-place team with a record under .500, leads the NL West by five games over second-place Los Angeles and is six ahead of the Giants.

    "Come out and get three and we stop after that. It's puzzling," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "We didn't even threaten."

    San Francisco manager Felipe Alou has spoken so many times this year of looking forward to the day when he had both Bonds and closer Armando Benitez on the field. Benitez, who missed more than three months following surgery to reattach two torn hamstring tendons to the pelvis, pitched the ninth for his 13th save.

    The Giants lost first baseman J.T. Snow to an injured left hamstring in the seventh when he grabbed his leg running out a single. He is expected to miss a couple days.

    Playing for the first time following three operations this year on his troublesome right knee, Bonds led off the second for the Giants, stretching his bat above his head as he walked out of the dugout and acknowledging the fans before digging in against San Diego's Adam Eaton (10-4).

    Thus began a wild, 11-pitch at-bat in which Eaton, who has given up three of Bonds' 703 career home runs, challenged Bonds with the crowd was on its feet all the way.

    The sequence: ball one low and outside, ball two low and outside -- "Boo!" from the crowd. Called strike one, called strike two in tight -- Bonds mouthing the word "Wow" in disbelief at the call. Foul ball into the second deck, another foul behind him into the second-tier seats, two straight towering fouls into the right-field stands, ball low and away, a foul to left.

    Then the double.

    "He gave me the best at-bat I've seen this year in the first at-bat," Felipe Alou said. "I'm not talking about this team, I'm talking about any team."

    In the third, Bonds hit a shallow fly to center. He flied out to deep center in the fifth, then struck out swinging in the seventh before Jason Ellison replaced him in the field to start the eighth.

    The 41-year-old Bonds, resuming his quest for Hank Aaron's career home run record of 755, received a warm ovation when he took his spot in left field in the top of the first, tipping his hat to the cheering crowd of 39,095.

    A lengthy tribute and highlight show of the superstar played on the main center-field scoreboard before the first pitch. Bonds is clearly still loved in the Bay Area despite the steroids controversy surrounding him, though everybody expects far worse treatment on the road.

    Rubber chickens returned to the ballpark souvenir stands for the first time this season -- for fans to wave when Bonds is walked. A few boats were in McCovey Cove beyond right field, with fans aboard hoping to retrieve a Bonds' splash hit.

    San Diego knocked Kevin Correia out of the game in the first, taking a 3-0 lead.

    Game notes


    The Giants' Justin Knoedler singled in the eighth for his first major league hit. ... Benitez took over sole possession of 22nd place on the saves list with 257. ... Padres OF Ryan Klesko got another day off to recover from shoulder and neck soreness. ... Moises Alou has a "fairly significant" groin pull according to trainer Stan Conte. ... Kinney got his first big league win since beating the Angels on June 8 last year while with Milwaukee.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES