In the city where Hank Aaron starred for decades, Barry Bonds likely will not get the chance to take a step closer to Babe Ruth.
Still two homers shy of tying Ruth for second on the all-time list, Bonds is not expected to be in the starting lineup when the San Francisco Giants close out a two-game series on Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
After hitting career homer No. 712 on Monday in a win over San Diego, Bonds said he had no plans to sit out any upcoming games. A foul ball hit by rookie Kevin Frandsen to Bonds’ head during batting practice Wednesday night appears to have temporarily derailed the chase.
The seven-time NL MVP was leaning against the top rail of the batting cage, but misjudged the amount of give in the protective netting and took the ball off the forehead. After a quick checkup in the clubhouse, Bonds took batting practice, was examined again and cleared to play.
Bonds went 0-for-4 and Pedro Feliz’s two-run homer in the second inning provided all the offense in the Giants’ 2-0 win.
After the game, Bonds said through a Giants spokesman that his status for Thursday is uncertain, but manager Felipe Alou said Bonds wouldn’t play.
“He’s not going to be in,” Alou said.
Bonds has hit all four of his homers this season in his last 26 at-bats, and is batting .308 in that span.
Brewers manager Ned Yost said it wouldn’t be right to pitch around Bonds, who has 27 walks including a major league-high 12 intentional.
“I just feel that the game should be played a certain way, it’s your best.” Yost said. “He’s not the only person in the league that we pitch that way. It seems like every time we walk a guy like him or Albert Pujols, they come around and score anyway. It’s your best going against their best.”
Bonds’ only career hit against Doug Davis (1-2, 6.39 ERA), the Brewers’ starter in this contest, was a solo homer in the eighth inning of a 5-4 loss on Sept. 13, 2003. He also has drawn four walks when facing the Milwaukee left-hander.
Bonds’ 19 homers against Milwaukee are tied for the second-fewest he has hit versus a National League opponent behind Pittsburgh (19) and San Francisco (15), the only two teams for which he has played.
Davis avoided his third loss in as many starts when he defeated the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. He lasted a season-high 6 1-3 innings, and limited the Cubs to a run and five hits in Milwaukee’s 16-2 rout.
In his last home start on April 23 against Cincinnati, Davis tied a club record by walking nine in just five innings. He has walked 17 in 16 innings over three starts at Miller Park this season.
Davis also has walked 17 in his last 14 innings overall, covering three starts.
Brad Hennessey (2-0, 2.79) looks to continue his dominance of the Brewers when he takes the mound for the Giants. The right-hander has won both of his career starts against Milwaukee, allowing only five hits with 11 strikeouts over 14 innings.
In his last start at Milwaukee (15-13) on July 28, he also helped his own cause by hitting a three-run homer in San Francisco’s 3-0 win.
Hennessey has won both his road starts this season, allowing four runs and eight hits in 13 1-3 innings. Opponents are hitting just .178 against him.
San Francisco (14-13) has alternated wins and losses in its last five road games.