San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds did his best to silence his critics in his first road game of the season.
Now, he’ll look to keep the Giants in the playoff hunt as they continue a three-game series with the Washington Nationals at RFK Stadium.
Bonds hit an upper-deck homer in San Francisco’s 4-3 win over Washington on Tuesday, the 706th of his career and third in 18 at-bats since returning to the Giants last week after missing most of the season while recovering from three knee operations.
Bonds, who has also been one of the major figures in baseball’s ongoing steroid scandal, was booed roundly by the Washington crowd early in the game.
However, he got some applause after the homer, and put a finger to his mouth after he rounded the bases. Bonds said the gesture was directed at a heckling fan.
“It’s amazing to see,” said Giants pitcher Jack Taschner, who pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. “Barry comes up, they boo, then Barry hits a home run and they all start cheering. It’s amazing. It obviously doesn’t affect him very much.”
Bonds, who is eight homers shy of Babe Ruth for second on the all-time list, also drew a walk in the ninth inning before Moises Alou’s go-ahead, three-run homer.
“Hopefully, I can just hang onto it as long as I can until the end of the season,” Bonds said.
The Giants moved within five games of first-place San Diego in the NL West.
Brad Wilkerson went 2-for-5 with an RBI for the Nationals, who fell five games behind Houston in the NL wild-card race. Washington has lost three straight, with the go-ahead run in each game coming in the opponents’ final at-bat.
“We’re losing ballgames on one swing of the bat,” manager Frank Robinson said.