Apparently, nothing can stop Barry Bonds.
Coming off the latest in a series of stirring performances, the San Francisco slugger will try to lead the NL West-leading Giants to their 11th win in 14 games as they open a two-game series with the Colorado Rockies at Pacific Bell Park.
Bonds, scratched from the lineup minutes before the first pitch Sunday because of exhaustion, was released from the hospital Monday after staying overnight to have his vital signs monitored. He made it to Bank One Ballpark in time for Monday’s game with Arizona and delivered a game-winning two-run single in the top of the ninth as the Giants pulled out a 2-0 win.
“Don’t leave it up to me,” Bonds said. “I don’t like to play overtime.”
The dramatic effort was the latest in a two-week stretch during which Bonds has jumped to the forefront of the National League MVP race.
Bonds missed a three-game series in Montreal to be with his ailing father Bobby before returning to the Giants’ lineup on Aug. 19. In his first game back, he belted a game-winning, 10th-inning homer to lift San Francisco to a 5-4 victory over major league-leading Atlanta.
Two nights later, he connected for another walk-off blast against the Braves in the bottom of the 10th, giving the Giants a 4-3 win.
Bobby Bonds passed away on Aug. 23 and Barry Bonds took a week’s absence from the team. He returned with a vengeance on Saturday, belting a decisive two-run homer off reigning four-time NL Cy Young Award-winner Randy Johnson in a 2-1 win over the Diamondbacks.
Still grieving the loss of his father, Bonds’ heartbeat rose to more than twice the normal rate during that game, forcing his hospitalization the next day.
“I just had problems with my heart and chest,” Bonds said. “I couldn’t get around it. It was just safer for me to go there than to try to play.”
The Giants have won each of the last six games Bonds has played in.
The Rockies, who have surrendered 41 of Bonds’ 653 homers, have lost eight of nine, and are coming off a three-game sweep in Los Angeles, including a 3-0 loss on Sunday.
The defeat was the eighth straight on the road for the Rockies, whose 20-50 road record is the second-worst in the majors. They finished the month 13-17 overall—their worst August ever.
STANDINGS: Rockies - 4th place, 19 1/2 GB, NL West. Giants - 1st place, NL West.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Jose Jimenez (1-7, 5.67 ERA). Jimenez is 0-1 with a 4.80 ERA over his last three starts. A reliever for most of the season before being moved into the rotation on Aug. 16, Jimenez is coming off one of his roughest outings. He surrendered five runs and eight hits over five innings in Wednesday’s 6-4 loss to the Giants. Jimenez is 1-5 with an 8.08 ERA and seven saves in 28 career appearances, including four starts, against San Francisco.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Kevin Correia (1-1, 2.25 ERA). Correia has been used as a starter and reliever since being recalled from Triple-A Fresno on Aug. 10. The 23-year-old right-hander posted a 5-2 win over Philadelphia on Aug. 10, but fell to the Rockies 6-1 on Thursday, allowing two runs and four hits over five innings. In two appearances against Colorado this season, Correia is 0-1 with a 4.43 ERA.
SEASON SERIES: Giants, 10-7.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rockies - The Rockies, who lost 5-0 on Saturday, have been shut out in consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 30-31 of last season at San Diego. Colorado hasn’t scored in 23 straight innings. … RHP Jimenez is winless in 26 road appearances this season, going 0-4 with a 6.59 ERA. … Jimenez has retired OF Bonds in five of seven confrontations, yielding a single and a homer. Giants - The Giants activated three regulars from the disabled list Monday, but only 1B J.T. Snow (groin) was able to play. OF Marvin Benard (knee) and 2B Ray Durham (hamstring) are still rehabilitating. … The Giants are 30 games above .500 for the first time since 1993. … RHP Tim Worrell has converted 32 of 38 save opportunities.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rockies - 20-50 on the road; Giants - 46-19 at home.
INJURIES: Rockies - C Bobby Estalella (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Shawn Chacon (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Nelson Cruz (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Denny Neagle (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Chin-hui Tsao (wrist), 15-day DL; OF Chris Richard (shoulder), 60-day DL. Giants - RHP Jesse Foppert (arm), 15-day DL; RHP Dustin Hermanson (back), 15-day DL; RHP Robb Nen (shoulder), 15-day DL.
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