Bonds made his season debut Sept. 12 against San Diego and went 3-for-8 to help San Francisco win the first two games of a three-game series. However, he did not start the afternoon finale and the Padres won it to prevent the Giants from pulling within four games of first place.
San Francisco enters this series four games behind with seven to play for both teams. Bonds may see action in every game in this series with no day games scheduled, provided the team is still in contention.
The Giants believe they need a sweep to realistically keep their playoff hopes alive. Even if they win three out of four, they would be two games behind with three left.
“It’s going to be tough,” Giants first baseman J.T. Snow said. “Can we do it? Yeah, we can do it. We need to play our best baseball and get some luck and get some things to go our way. You never know. Crazy things have happened.”
Bonds surprisingly started in a day game on Sunday at Colorado and went hitless for the second straight day. The seven-time NL MVP is 2-for-9 with two walks in his last three games since homering in four straight.
San Francisco won for the seventh time in nine games, 6-2 over Colorado on Sunday. Pinch-hitter Julio Ramirez delivered a tiebreaking RBI single as part of a four-run ninth inning as the Giants improved to 8-2 in games started by Bonds.
“We won’t have to look at the scoreboard anymore, and we will have a good series, have some fun and play good baseball,” San Francisco outfielder Moises Alou said.
Alou, who is battling leg problems, went 3-for-5 with a pair of triples on Sunday. The 39-year-old is batting .485 (16-for-33) during a nine-game hitting streak.
Brad Hennessey tries for a second straight win for San Francisco. He snapped a personal five-game skid by allowing one run and three hits over 7 2-3 innings in a 5-1 win at Washington last Wednesday.
The 25-year-old right-hander is making his second start of the season against San Diego. Hennessey was tagged for four runs and seven hits over 2 1-3 innings in a 9-3 loss on May 27.
The Padres will counter with ace Jake Peavy, who is 6-3 with a 3.54 ERA in 12 career starts against the Giants. Peavy is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against San Francisco this season, striking out 18 in 13 innings.
Like most pitchers, Peavy has had limited success against Bonds. The Giants’ slugger is hitting .313 (5-for-16) with three homers and 11 walks against Peavy.
Peavy is 7-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 16 home starts this season.
San Diego dropped a game below .500 (77-78) with a 4-3, 11-inning loss at Arizona on Sunday. The Padres completed a 3-4 road trip that left the Giants within striking distance.
“I don’t think we feel like we have a lot of pressure on us,” third baseman Joe Randa said, “but we feel like we need to finish the job. We keep letting everybody stay in this thing and we need to go home and take care of business.”