Barry Bonds is 0-for-1 in his attempt to match Babe Ruth.
After coming within inches of tying Ruth for second on the all-time home run list, Bonds will try again to hit career homer 714 when the San Francisco Giants continue their three-game series against the Chicago Cubs at AT&T Park on Wednesday.
During the Giants’ 6-1 win in the series opener, the seven-time NL MVP flied out and walked before coming up with two on and two out in the fifth inning. Bonds’ drive to center field off rookie starter Rich Hill appeared headed over the fence, but was kept in the park thanks to a leaping catch by Juan Pierre.
“I know I ruined about 40,000 people’s nights tonight,” Pierre said.
Giants right fielder Moises Alou, currently on the disabled list with an ankle injury, watched Pierre rob Bonds on a clubhouse television.
“I thought it was gone,” Alou said. “I don’t know if the ball would have been over, but when he hit it I thought it was gone.”
Bonds then singled weakly off former teammate Scott Eyre in the seventh inning before flying out in the eighth. Bonds is hitting .249 in his career against Chicago (14-18)—the lowest average he has recorded against any NL opponent.
Bonds, who did not speak with reporters after the game, has not homered off a Cubs pitcher in nine games since April 30, 2003 when he hit two off Matt Clement. The center of a probe into alleged steroid abuse, Bonds has hit 43 of his 713 career homers against the Cubs.
San Francisco (16-17) got homers from Randy Winn and Lance Niekro on Tuesday, and Mike Matheny had three hits and an RBI. Michael Barrett homered for the Cubs, who have been outscored 42-9 while losing the first seven games of their nine-game road trip.
The Cubs have dropped eight straight overall, their longest skid since Aug. 3-10.
Bonds is 0-for-1 with two walks in his career against Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano (0-2, 4.43 ERA), who is still seeking his first victory after leading Chicago with 14 wins and 202 strikeouts last season.
Though he did not get a decision in his last start, Zambrano had his most impressive outing of the season. The right-hander scattered four hits, walked three and struck out 10 on Friday in a 1-0, 11-inning loss to San Diego.
Zambrano is 2-0 with a 3.73 ERA in five career appearances including four starts against San Francisco (16-17). He faced the Giants at San Francisco on Sept. 8, allowing three runs and six hits over seven innings to earn the win in a 5-3 victory.
The Cubs are 4-0 all-time when Zambrano starts against the Giants.
Matt Cain (1-4, 6.27) will take the hill for San Francisco after his shortest outing of the season in his last start. On Friday against Philadelphia, the right-hander lasted only four innings and gave up six runs and nine hits—including a career-high four homers—with three walks in an 8-3 loss.
Cain’s lone win this season came at home on April 24 over the New York Mets.
At 20 years old, Cain became the youngest pitcher in San Francisco history to toss a complete game when he limited the Cubs to two hits with a career-high eight strikeouts in a 2-1 win on Sept. 9.