Barry Bonds is back in San Francisco’s lineup and the team couldn’t be happier.
Bonds leads the Giants as they continue their three-game series against the Atlanta Braves at Pacific Bell Park.
Bonds returned to San Francisco’s lineup on Tuesday after missing the weekend series in Montreal to be with his ailing father, Bobby, who has lung cancer.
“It was important for me to be there with my dad at this time,” said Bonds. “It’s also important for me to be here as well. I’ll do the best I can to do both. I just hope everyone understands.”
Bonds’ big bat was missed as the Giants were swept in four games by the Expos to extend their losing streak to six games.
The five-time MVP made his presence felt quickly on Tuesday, hitting a mammoth home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift San Francisco to a 5-4 win over Atlanta.
It was Bonds’ 651st and eighth game-winning home run of his career.
Bonds wasn’t the only one to rejoin San Francisco’s roster on Tuesday.
Aurilia had been out since Aug. 4 following an emergency appendectomy.
“There are no problems with Rich,” Giants trainer Stan Conte said. “He’s doing fine.”
Rodriguez had been on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain.
The Braves have now lost two of three and are 5-5 over their last 10 games.
Atlanta will send veteran Shane Reynolds out against Bonds and company on Wednesday.
The 35-year-old right-hander has struggled against San Francisco in his career, going 3-6 with a 4.19 ERA in 15 career starts against the Giants. Reynolds has won five of seven starts overall with a 4.29 ERA during that span. He’s 10-6 with a 5.44 ERA this season.
The Giants will pay the remainder of Young’s $2 million contract for this season and have a $3 million team option for 2004. If they don’t exercise the option, Milwaukee is responsible for a $1 million buyout.
“I just want to go over there and get to that playoff level again,” said Young, who played in the postseason in 1995 for Colorado. “I’d only experienced that one time in my career and that’s what it’s all about.
“There’s nothing like having a chance come Sept. 1 and then actually reaching it. It’s a whole different level.”
STANDINGS: Braves - 1st place, NL East. Giants - 1st place, NL West.
BRAVES PROBABLE STARTER: Reynolds (10-6, 5.44 ERA). Reynolds gave up three runs and seven hits over 5 2-3 innings to earn a 10-4 win over Arizona on Friday.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Jesse Foppert (8-9, 5.11 ERA). Foppert has a 5-3 record and 4.22 ERA this season at Pac Bell Park. The rookie right-hander pitched 6 1-3 innings, yielding four runs and six hits in a 4-1 loss to Montreal on Friday.
SEASON SERIES: tied, 2-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Braves - C Lopez has 11 home runs in 27 games since the All-Star break to tie his career high of 34 set in 1998. … OF Sheffield has hit safely in 23 straight games. … 2B Marcus Giles is tied for third in the NL with 40 doubles. Giants - OF Bonds leads the majors with 38 home runs. He’s 3-for-10 with six walks in his career against Reynolds. … RHP Foppert is 3-1 with a 4.08 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break. … SS Aurilia went 1-for-5 at the plate and committed his 10th error of the season Tuesday.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Braves - 36-25 on the road; Giants - 42-18 at home.
INJURIES: Braves - INF Julio Franco (finger), 15-day DL; RHP Paul Byrd (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Roberto Hernandez (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Darren Holmes (shoulder), 15-day DL. Giants - C Alberto Castillo (wrist), 15-day DL; 2B Ray Durham (leg), 15-day DL; 1B J.T. Snow (groin), 15-day DL; OF Marvin Benard (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Robb Nen (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Kirk Rueter (shoulder), 15-day DL.