Barry Bonds has a chance to make history in front of the home fans yet again.
Bonds has hit his most historic homers at home, where they often wind up splashing into McCovey Cove in San Francisco Bay.
He hit career homer No. 660—to tie godfather Willie Mays for third place on the all-time list—and No. 661 at home off the Milwaukee Brewers earlier this season. He also hit his 500th in San Francisco in 2001, and later that season broke Mark McGwire’s single-season record by hitting Nos. 71-73 at home during the final weekend of the season.
On Thursday, the six-time NL MVP remained one shot shy of joining Babe Ruth (714) and Hank Aaron (755) on one of baseball’s most exclusive lists, going 3-for-3 with two singles and a double in the Giants’ 4-0 win over the Brewers.
“I still have a lot of baseball left,” said Bonds, who is hitting .374 with 41 homers and 95 RBIs. “It will come eventually.”
Bonds has feasted on Padres pitching throughout his career. He has 78 homers against San Diego—his most against any opponent—including two off right-hander Jake Peavy, who will be on the mound at SBC Park on Friday.
After hitting his 699th homer Sunday in Arizona, Bonds was challenged by the Brewers, who didn’t groove many pitches. He saw 56 pitches in Milwaukee, 23 of them strikes, including two called.
“I swung at more pitches. I took more chances,” Bonds said. “Today it was hits, hits, hits and that’s it.”
The 40-year-old outfielder admitted he’s not too excited about his quest for 700.
“It’s no different than 73 home runs in 2001, the same thing,” Bonds said. “I’m uncomfortable with it, period. That’s not why I play baseball, for all these lights and cameras. I just want to play the game and go home and enjoy my family.”
Winners of five straight and nine of 11, the Giants hold a half-game lead over the Chicago Cubs for the NL wild card. The Giants have also pulled within 2 1/2 games of the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
San Diego has a chance to make up some ground in the postseason race. The Padres are third in the wild-card standings, trailing the Giants by three games.
San Diego is 10-3 against the Giants this year, winning eight of the last nine meetings.
After taking three of four from the Dodgers, the Padres are 5 1/2 games behind first-place Los Angeles.
The Padres have lost three infielders to injury, including starting shortstop Khalil Greene this week. They acquired shortstop Alex Gonzalez and cash from the Montreal Expos late Thursday for a player to be named or cash.
In 72 games, Gonzalez is hitting .229 with seven homers and 24 RBIs.