PHOENIX (AP) -- On the night Steve Finley joined San Francisco
teammate Barry Bonds in the exclusive 300 home run-300 stolen base
club, Bonds took another step toward Hank Aaron's all-time home run
record with his 717th career homer.
The blasts sparked the Giants to an 11-4 victory over the
Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday night, snapping a four-game losing
Finley led off the game by belting Claudio Vargas' (6-4) fifth
pitch deep into the right field seats. Finley, who has 316 steals,
became the sixth member of the 300 homer-300 stolen base club,
joining teammate Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds, Willie Mays, Andre
Dawson and Reggie Sanders.
Afterward, Finley's teammates gave him a beer shower in the
middle of Chase Field's visiting clubhouse. "Whenever Fins looks
back on it, he's going to appreciate the moment," Bonds said.
The 41-year-old Finley had been stuck on 299 homers since May
31, a span of 33 at-bats. He knew it was only a question of when --
"It would have been nice to do it in front of the fans at home
in San Francisco," Finley said. "But if I wasn't going to do it
there, this is the next-best place, playing as long as I did
Finley spent nearly six seasons with Arizona and was a member of
the Diamondbacks' 2001 World Series champion. He has a lot of fond
memories of his time in Arizona. And he still loves hitting in
Chase Field, where he's a lifetime .298 hitter with 84 home runs.
Finley's feat was witnessed by his 13-year-old son, Austin, who
made the trip with his dad. As Finley loosened up in the on-deck
circle before Wednesday night's game, teammate Moises Alou told him
he was going to hit the first pitch out.
" 'Mo' had a premonition," Finley said. "I told the bat boy,
'Listen, if I happen to do it, make sure Austin gets up there to
get the bat.' "
Finley's teammates were ready with the beer cans when he arrived
in the clubhouse after the game.
"To do that against a team he won the World Series with --
that's pretty clutch," reliever Steve Kline said.
Finley's home run production dipped dramatically last year, when
he hit only 12 in 112 games, his fewest homers since 1995. Some
might have thought Finley was finished. But not the Giants, who
acquired Finley from the Angels in exchange for Edgardo Alfonzo.
"He's been a great player for us," manager Felipe Alou said.
Several Diamondbacks tipped their caps to Finley from the
"Quite an accomplishment for him," said Arizona manager Bob
Melvin, who was a Diamondback coach when Finley was on the team.
Finley said the magnitude of his accomplishment probably won't
hit him until he retires, and he has no plans to do that soon.
"It means I've had a good, long consistent career," Finley
said. "It's something I can be proud about whenever I'm done
playing. There's not too many guys who have done that."
Bonds is one of them. He hit his 300th homer on April 27, 1996.
A little more than 10 years later, Bonds is aiming for Aaron's
all-time record of 755 homers.
Bonds' 717th homer, a 368-foot drive to right field off Arizona
reliever Jose Valverde in the ninth inning, came on a a 3-2 pitch
and was Bonds' first since June 5, a span of 10 at-bats. He missed
five games with an abdominal strain in his left side before
returning Tuesday and going hitless in three at-bats.
Bonds narrowly missed a homer in the fifth inning, hammering a
Vargas pitch a few feet below the top of the 25-foot wall in
center. Bonds was held to a single.
"I've been playing pepper with that wall all year," said
Bonds, who went 2-for-3 with four RBI.
Alou said he knew Bonds was ready to break out after watching
the slugger take batting practice Wednesday.
"Barry's BP today was awesome -- the best BP of the year," Alou
said. "You could see something was going to happen."
Omar Vizquel was 4-for-5 with two doubles and four runs scored.
The Diamondbacks had no answer for the Giants' bats. But Arizona
third baseman Chad Tracy didn't help. He was charged with three
errors -- two fielding and one throwing -- as the Diamondbacks lost
for the eighth time in nine games.
"It's three tough plays," Tracy said. "I just didn't make any
The most damaging error came in the fourth, when Tracy botched a
surefire double-play grounder by Moises Alou, allowing Vizquel to
score. One out later, Pedro Feliz tripled to right-center field to
drive in Bonds and Alou to tie the score at 4-4.
Despite the loss, the Diamondbacks remain tied with Los Angeles
atop the tightly contested NL West, where two games separate the
five teams. The Giants are tied for last but only two games back.
Finley's blast was his sixth career leadoff homer and his
first since Sept. 9, 1998, when he played for San Diego. ...
Arizona SS Craig Counsell played in his 1,000th career game. ...
Tracy's three errors gave him nine in 63 games. He had five in 145
games last year. ... Feliz's triple was the Giants' 28th this
season, most in the major leagues. A year ago, the Giants hit 26