Barry Bonds may one day be baseball’s all-time home run leader. But for now, he’s got his eyes on another record.
The 39-year-old slugger, who has 667 career homers, is hoping to match the record shared by Dale Long (1956), Don Mattingly (1987) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1993).
Bonds has homered in the last seven games in which he has had an at-bat. He had a pinch-hit walk last Wednesday, which does not stop the streak under baseball’s rules because a walk doesn’t count as an official at-bat.
Bonds homered in six straight games twice in 2001 when he set the single-season record of 73 homers. He did it from April 12-18 and again from May 17-22.
His ninth homer of this season, a two-run shot off Brian Lawrence in the fourth inning Tuesday, was not enough for the Giants, who lost 9-5.
Although Bonds walked three times, San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said the Padres intend to pitch to the superstar slugger.
“Where would this game be if we didn’t pitch to Babe Ruth?” Bochy said. “We’re trying to win every game. You don’t take the bat completely out of his hand. There is an obligation at times to pitch to him. Fans pay a lot of money to watch him hit.”
San Francisco has dropped four of its last five games. As they try to end that slide, the Giants will also look for another strong start from Jason Schmidt, who was impressive in his first outing since offseason elbow shoulder.
Schmidt, who led the National League with a 2.34 ERA last season, took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning Friday before falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2. He allowed two runs and three hits over seven innings.
“It felt like I had never been out there before,” Schmidt said. “It will take a while to figure out what I did last year. But I got out of there with my arm still attached.”
The Padres, winners of three of four, had their best offensive output of the season Tuesday.