The watch for Barry Bonds to hit career homer No. 715 enters a fifth straight game.
Bonds will try once again to move into sole possession of second place on the all-time home run list when the San Francisco Giants continue their weekend series with the struggling Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park on Saturday.
The Giants (25-23) avoided their third straight loss and handed Colorado (25-23) its fourth straight defeat with a 9-0 rout on Friday in the series opener.
Bonds had an RBI single, was hit by a pitch and drew an intentional walk to remain stuck on 714 homers. The seven-time NL MVP has not hit one out since turning on a pitch from Oakland’s Brad Halsey on May 20—a span of 14 at-bats and 19 plate appearances.
But Giants manager Felipe Alou believes Bonds could look past Ruth and still catch Hank Aaron’s career mark of 755 homers.
“That’s not a lot of homers for Barry Bonds,” Alou said. “That’s a very small number.”
Bonds has hits in five straight games and seven of his last eight overall to raise his average 33 points to .250.
“People are looking at Barry a lot,” Alou said. “Right now, Barry himself is getting to be the baseball player he is. He is driving in runs with groundballs and base hits.”
Bonds has six RBIs in his last eight games. He is expected to be in the starting lineup for this contest and will face Josh Fogg, against whom he is 2-for-4 with two walks in his career.
Fogg (3-2, 4.75 ERA), meanwhile, looks to win consecutive starts for just the second time this season when he takes the mound for Colorado. The right-hander snapped a personal six-game winless streak by allowing three runs, seven hits and striking out a season-high five over 5 2-3 innings in a 5-3 home victory over Toronto on Sunday.
“Sometimes there’s nothing you can do,” Fogg said. “You want to go out there and win every game, but that just isn’t possible.”
Fogg posted wins in consecutive starts at San Diego and Arizona on April 7 and 13. He is 2-0 wtih a 3.30 ERA in five career starts against the Giants, with both wins coming at San Francisco.
Giants starter Matt Cain (2-5, 5,47) will try to build off the best outing of his career. On Sunday, the right-hander tossed a one-hitter with three walks and five strikeouts in a 6-0 interleague win over Oakland.
“I really didn’t want to go 1-6, and I really wanted us to take the series,” said Cain, who made his first start after a brief demotion to the bullpen. “It’s fun to have all these guys around here wondering what Barry (Bonds) is going to do, but I’ve still got to do my job.”
Cain will make his third start against the Rockies. Despite a .162 opponent batting average, and a 2.45 ERA in his previous two outings versus Colorado, Cain only compiled an 0-1 record.
San Francisco rookie first baseman Travis Ishikawa—called up from Double-A Connecticut on Thursday—went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs.
Ishikawa, playing in place of the injured Lance Niekro, is wearing No. 1, the same number worn by Japanese home run leader Sadaharu Oh.
“Hopefully, I can put up some numbers like he did,” said Ishikawa, whose father is Japanese.