SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- It's beginning to look as if Barry Bonds'
next milestone home run might have to wait until his team's
upcoming road trip.
It may be that the pressure of reaching a milestone is bothering Barry Bonds, gnawing at his concentration. But there is something else to consider: Maybe the Bonds we see now is the best Bonds will be for the rest of his career.
To read more of Buster Olney's blog, click here.
The slugger spent another day stuck at 713 and one behind Babe
Ruth for second place on the career list, going 0-for-3 with a walk
and a strikeout Saturday in the San Francisco Giants' 6-5 comeback
victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"Well, too bad," Vizquel said when told Bonds was inside
getting ready to leave, though he hadn't noticed because there were
so many people around him.
The Giants scored four runs in the ninth against Danys Baez
(2-2), also getting RBI singles from Lance Niekro and pinch-hitter
Dan Ortmeier and a run-scoring double by Todd Greene. Jose Vizcaino
entered to run for Greene at third and scored the winning run.
Vizquel was immediately mobbed near first -- Bonds nowhere to be
What a day for Vizcaino in less than 5 minutes of work.
"It's not a bad day for the team," he said. "I'm just happy
to be able to score the winning run. It's a ball where I know I
have a chance to score."
Now, Bonds must hit two homers Sunday in the finale of the
seven-game homestand to pass Ruth before leaving town for a
Bonds hasn't homered in five games since hitting No. 713 with a
450-foot shot last Sunday in Philadelphia, and manager Felipe Alou
even moved him up from the cleanup spot to No. 3 in the order in an
effort to get him going.
But Bonds is hitless in his last 13 at-bats with five walks
since his seventh-inning single Tuesday night against former
teammate Scott Eyre of the Cubs.
"A couple of at-bats were better," Alou said. "The other ones
were more or less what we've seen in the last 18 at-bats."
After Sunday's series finale, the Giants leave town for a
three-game series starting Monday at Houston, followed by a weekend
interleague matchup at Oakland in which Bonds can play designated
hitter. Giants' management can't be thrilled thinking about the
possibility of Bonds passing Ruth in the run-down ballpark across
San Francisco Bay.
"We're not waiting to see Barry get the milestone," teammate
Steve Finley said. "We're trying to win the game."
Bonds struck out looking in the first after taking three
straight balls from Aaron Sele to start a seven-pitch at-bat.
Some fans were on their feet with chants of "Barry! Barry!" --
though the stadium lacked the atmosphere of the previous night in
the series opener. Many fans left after Bonds did.
"Those are the fans who just come here to see the record,"
Vizquel said. "They're not real fans. They missed out big."
Bonds lined out to left on the first pitch he saw to start the
fourth, which Sele completed on a total of four pitches. Bonds
walked on four pitches in the sixth with the bases empty, then
grounded out to first on a 3-2 pitch in the eighth.
Los Angeles' Nomar Garciaparra extended his hitting streak to
eight games with a solo home run to left in the third for his
seventh straight game driving in a run, then drew a bases-loaded
walk from Scott Munter in the seventh for another RBI.
"He dodges a lot of situations like that," Dodgers catcher
Sandy Alomar Jr. said. "He knows how to pitch with guys on base.
It didn't happen today."
Armando Benitez (2-0) pitched the ninth for the win.
Sele was in line to win his second straight outing after being
called up May 6 from Triple-A Las Vegas to make an emergency start
for Odalis Perez, who had returned home to visit his ill mother in
the Dominican Republic. Sele signed a minor league deal with the
Dodgers on Jan. 17.
The 41-year-old Bonds returned to the third spot in the order
for the first time in nearly three years. He has 328 homers from
the No. 3 hole.
"They tell me Babe Ruth hit for average," Alou said. "Right
now, he's not hitting for average. I believe he's capable of
hitting for average."
The seven-time NL MVP batted third instead of cleanup for the
first time since May 23, 2003, at Colorado, where he went 2-for-3
with two singles in front of Benito Santiago.
Alou spoke to Bonds while he was undergoing treatment Saturday
morning and brought up the idea of moving him up, something Alou
said came to him the night before.
Noah Lowry allowed five runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings in
his second start off the disabled list after straining a muscle in
his right side April 6 against Atlanta in the Giants' home opener.
He pitched seven strong innings to beat the Houston Astros in a
makeup game Monday night.
Lowry laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt in the fifth to drive
in the Giants' first run. Niekro had three hits, two RBI and
scored a run.
Dodgers 3B Bill Mueller, placed on the 15-day disabled list
with soreness in his right knee before Friday's game, will have
surgery Monday in Phoenix by Dr. David Zeman. ... Finley batted
cleanup behind Bonds and doubled for his fourth extra-base hit in
five games. ... Sele faced the Giants for the first time since June
11, 2000, as a member of the Mariners. ... Dusty Baker's 7-year-old
son, Darren, and Bonds' 7-year-old daughter, Aisha, announced the
lineups in the third. ... The game drew 42,864 fans, the second
straight sellout and third of the season. It was the fourth-largest
regular-season crowd in the ballpark's 6-year history. One man
sported a Ruth jersey. ... The Giants won for only the second time
after trailing through eight.