San Diego general manager Kevin Towers joked that Petco Park was “Bonds-proof”.
Maybe he wasn’t kidding.
Bonds, one homer shy of tying godfather Willie Mays for third place on the all-time list, has traditionally feasted on Padres pitching. The five-time NL MVP has 75 career homers against the Padres—his most against an opponent— including 39 in San Diego’s former home, Qualcomm Stadium.
Towers joked that Petco, which features an extremely deep fence in right center, was designed to be “Bonds-proof”. Thus far, he’s been right.
The slugger has gone 1-for-7 with a run scored and an RBI in the first two games ever at Petco, including a 1-for-3 performance in Saturday night’s 6-4 loss—San Francisco’s third straight defeat since beginning the season with a pair of wins in Houston.
Bonds was robbed of a potential homer in Friday’s series opener, when San Diego outfielder Jay Payton made a leaping catch just in front of the fence in center, 411 feet from home plate. Bonds has not homered since hitting a game-tying three-run homer off Roy Oswalt in Houston on opening day.
“He’s hitting a lot of balls off the end of his bat,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “Barry’s been there before with breaking records. I don’t think he’s pressing.”
Phil Nevin is enjoying the dimensions at Petco. He matched a career high with four hits in Saturday’s win and scored three runs, including one in the seventh when the Padres snapped a 4-4 tie.
The Padres are 2-0 on their nine-game homestand at Petco, which opened with the Padres’ 4-3, 10-inning win over the Giants on Friday.