Barry Bonds is within two homers of gaining membership in the 700 club.
After saying he wouldn’t pitch to Bonds prior to the series, Colorado manager Clint Hurdle changed his mind with a runner on in the third inning Tuesday. Bonds made him pay, belting his 40th homer of the year to stake San Francisco to a 3-2 lead.
Bonds is within two homers of joining Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) as the only players to reach 700. The six-time NL MVP also has hit 40 homers in five straight seasons and eight overall, tying Aaron’s NL record.
Ruth holds the major league record with 11 seasons with 40 homers.
“From a standpoint of pitching to him every time, we wouldn’t pitch to him every time whether it was 700th home run coming up, 500th or 900th,” Hurdle said. “Certain situations dictate us trying to attack somebody else.”
Despite Bonds’ homer, the Giants suffered a tough 8-7 loss as Jeromy Burnitz hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning.
The loss kept San Francisco from taking sole possession of the NL wild-card lead. The Giants trail the Chicago Cubs by a half-game.
Bonds just missed No. 699 in the sixth inning, drilling Jeff Fassero’s 3-0 offering to the top of the wall in right. Bonds finished 2-for-3 with two walks.
Bonds has four multi-homer games this year and 24 homers in 62 career games at Coors Field. The Giants will go to major league-worst Arizona for a three-game series after leaving Colorado, then visit Miller Park for three games with Milwaukee, making it more than likely that Bonds will hit his historic 700th away from home.
Bonds is also just two walks short of the major league record of 198 he set in 2002.
The Giants had a three-game winning streak snapped Tuesday.
The Rockies are 5-1 in September after closing August with eight straight losses.