Zito strikes out five as Bonds continues homer slump

" Unsung hero: Steve Kline got his second save, entering with the bases loaded, and retiried Luis Gonzalez on an RBI grounder and then got James Loney on a bases-loaded grounder.

" Losing effort: The Dodgers' Russell Martin was 2-for-3 with an RBI while Rafael Furcal and Nomar Garciaparra both had 2-for-4 days at the plate.

" Injury update: Ex-Giant Jeff Kent missed his third straight game with a strained hamstring he injured in the final game at Colorado last weekend.

" Figure this: Los Angeles is 4-9 in its last 13 games and is one game back of Arizona in the NL West.

" Quotable: "They want to get him out and have Bonds move on to another
pitcher. The same way I would." -- Zito, on Dodgers cheering against Bonds

-- ESPN.com news services

Giants 4, Dodgers 2

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Barry Bonds' bid to dent Dodger Stadium ended with a slow walk, rather than a historic trot.

After three more homerless games, the slugger heads south to San Diego where Greg Maddux will try to keep Bonds from hitting the single home run he needs to tie Hank Aaron's record.

Following yet another intentional walk, Bonds left for a pinch runner Thursday night in San Francisco's 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He never came close to No. 755 and hasn't homered since last Friday.

Bonds went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks in the series finale.

"They want to get him out and have Bonds move on to another pitcher," said Giants lefty Barry Zito, the winner Thursday. "The same way I would."

Bonds walked in the first and singled to right in the second inning, ending an 0-for-19 stretch against the Dodgers. He fouled out to the catcher in the fifth, was walked intentionally in the seventh and then lifted for Fred Lewis, Bonds' third straight early exit.

He will likely play the next two days and sit out Sunday afternoon. Then the Giants return home to San Francisco, where Bonds would prefer to break Aaron's mark.

"I talked to him and he says he feels fine, he feels great," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "What helps is we're getting leads and getting him out of there early."

Bonds has eight homers off Maddux -- tied for his most against any pitcher. Then again, he's faced Maddux regularly for years.

Mad Dog wants no part of any milestones.

"All the home runs I've given up have bothered me," Maddux said. "You do what you can to pitch around him if you have to, and try to win."

Bonds has 86 homers against the Padres, his highest total against any club -- but only three in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.

After a steroid awareness clinic for Little Leaguers earlier in the day at the ballpark, the sellout crowd of 56,000 was at its wildest and loudest. Bud Selig missed the frenzy.

The commissioner returned home to Milwaukee on Thursday and sent Hall of Famer Frank Robinson to represent Major League Baseball in his place. Selig was scheduled to meet the Giants in San Diego.

"Hey Barry, where's Greg Anderson? Where is he, Barry?" one man hollered from the sky-high seats during batting practice in reference to the slugger's incarcerated trainer. "How much are you paying him? We don't hate you because you're a cheater, it's because you're a jerk."

"HGH!" another yelled from way up in right field. That's the abbreviated version of human growth hormone -- one of the substances Bonds allegedly took.

Bonds saluted a few Dodgers fans and pointed their way while coming out to the cage for batting practice.

Later, they chanted "Barroid! Barroid!" Someone held a sign reading, "Barry: Just Say No" and one man held open his button-down shirt to reveal a black T-shirt with a giant red asterisk in the middle.

Dodger manager Grady Little wasn't happy -- even though the Dodgers kept Bonds in check.

"What bothers me is that the Giants beat us two out of three," he said. "It's over and we'll start the new series against Arizona tomorrow."

Zito (8-10), the $126 million left-hander who has struggled in his first season with San Francisco, won for just the second time in 10 starts. He didn't allow a run in the initial inning for the first time in five outings since July 3 at Cincinnati.

"Right now it's more important for Barry Zito to go out and get a win," Bochy said. "Bonds getting the record is just a matter of time."

But this night was still about the other Barry. When No. 25 left the game, so did a chunk of the crowd.

While Bonds thrives in the heat he gets from Dodger fans, he isn't too fond of Petco.

"That place, they just need to move all of that in," he said last month.

After Bonds walked on full count in the first, he came around to score on Kevin Frandsen's sacrifice fly. Bonds had to jump back to avoid being hit in the knees by a low, inside pitch for a ball.

When Bonds makes good contact, his manager knows he's getting back on track. But something clearly is a little off -- he's batting .188 since July 1.

Coaches Joe Lefebvre and Willie Upshaw have been spending extra time in the video room studying what is wrong with Bonds' swing.

"He knows his swing better than anyone I've been around," said Lefebvre, the team's hitting coach. "I've seen it better."

The seven-time NL MVP has only six hits and one homer since connecting twice July 19 against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

He couldn't clear the fences against Brett Tomko (2-9). The right-hander once pitched for the other side in this rivalry, but his problems this season whether as a starter or reliever have caused those in Dodger Blue to grow impatient.

"It didn't matter to me," Tomko said of Bonds. "It's just another guy in the lineup. I was concerned with eight other guys and what to do with them. I think our guys did a pretty good job of not even worrying about it. From the get-go, it was about the Giants."

Tomko's own fans booed the pitcher when he came to the plate for the first time in the third and again when he struck out. Tomko has given up one home run to Bonds.

"They're making good pitches on him," Bochy said. "Whether he's pressing or not, that's hard to say. But when you're approaching probably the biggest record in all of sports, there's bound to be some pressure. Guys probably try a little too hard. Look at A-Rod. He's gone in a little slump over there trying to hit 500."

Game notes
ESPN2 added Friday night's game, the seventh Bonds game the network has added. Also, the Aug. 11 game has been moved to a 3:55 p.m. EDT start from 9:05 p.m. by Fox. ... Bonds' former teammate and nemesis Jeff Kent missed his third straight game with a strained hamstring he injured in the final game at Colorado last weekend. ... Steve Kline got his second save, entering with the bases loaded, retiring Luis Gonzalez on an RBI grounder and then getting James Loney on a bases-loaded grounder. ... Russell Martin drew a bases-loaded walk against Zito in the fifth for the Dodgers' first run. ... Randy Winn had an RBI double and Pedro Feliz a run-scoring single in the first for the Giants.