Bonds will not start for the surging San Francisco Giants when they attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Nationals at RFK Stadium.
Bonds homered for the fourth consecutive game to raise his career total to 707, and starting pitcher Brad Hennessey added a solo shot as the Giants beat the Nationals 5-1 on Wednesday for their fifth straight win.
The Giants still have an outside chance of catching the first-place San Diego Padres in NL West, trailing by five games with 11 to play.
Bonds won’t start Thursday because it’s a day game following a night game and he needs to rest his surgically repaired right knee.
“He was really tired,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said of Bonds, who was removed from Wednesday’s game after being intentionally walked in the seventh. “I won’t change my mind. He’s really sore.”
San Francisco’s run has coincided with last week’s return of Bonds, who had missed the entire season while recovering from three offseason knee operations. The Giants are 6-1 in his starts, with Bonds hitting .318 (7-for-22) with four homers and six RBIs.
“Barry came back and really makes this whole team a lot better,” Giants outfielder Moises Alou said. “It’s a whole different game.”
Washington has lost four in a row. Manager Frank Robinson had said before Wednesday’s game his team’s goal was to stay out of the NL East basement.
Coupled with Houston’s 12-8 win over Pittsburgh, Washington’s loss dropped it six games behind the Astros in the NL wild card race with 10 to play.
“It would take a miracle at this point,” said right-hander John Patterson, who allowed five runs and 10 hits over seven innings on Wednesday.