MORTON GROVE, Ill. (AP)—San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds continued his pursuit of baseball’s all-time home run record Tuesday in the same city where the record was last broken.
Bonds looks to build off his first multihomer game in two years when the Giants continue their three-game series with the streaking Atlanta Braves Wednesday at Turner Field.
Bonds homered twice in Tuesday’s 13-8 loss, moving within 28 of Hank Aaron’s mark of 755 career homers. Aaron surpassed Babe Ruth’s record of 714 at Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium in 1974.
The 42-year-old Bonds, who has been plagued by injuries and allegations of steroid use, is hitting .255 with 19 homers this season. He has hit 37 career home runs against the Braves, including 11 at Turner Field since it opened in 1997.
Prior to Tuesday night, Bonds had last hit two homers in a game on Aug. 29, 2004 off Atlanta’s Russ Ortiz. He has 69 multihomer games in his career, breaking a tie with Sammy Sosa for second place on the career list and placing him three behind Ruth.
“For all the skeptics who think he’s not as dangerous as he used to be, I think he answered that tonight,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said.
Bonds was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, and was already in the tunnel outside the clubhouse when reporters approached him.
“I don’t talk in the hallway,” he said before driving away in a black SUV instead of the team bus.
The Giants (65-67) are five games behind NL West leader Los Angeles, and trail wild card leader San Diego by two games.
Bonds also robbed Atlanta’s Jeff Francoeur of a homer with a leaping catch at the left field wall, but Andruw Jones homered twice, while Chipper Jones and Adam LaRoche also connected for the Braves. Atlanta has scored in double figures in three straight home victories—the team’s longest winning streak at Turner Field since it won a season-high four straight there May 15-18.
The Braves (62-68), who are a woeful 29-34 at home, moved within four games of the Padres for the wild card, but have virtually no chance of extending their unprecedented streak of 14 straight division titles. They have hit a major league-high 70 homers since the All-Star break.
Andruw Jones and Chipper Jones have homered in the same game 55 times in their careers, and the Braves are 49-6 in those contests. Andruw Jones’ two-run homer in the eighth gave him 1,000 career RBIs.
Chuck James (6-3, 4.15 ERA) will start for Atlanta on Wednesday. He allowed two runs in five innings of the Braves’ 7-6 loss to Washington on Friday, but did not receive a decision.
James, who is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA over his last four starts, threw 105 pitches and walked five batters. He has made two career relief appearances against the Giants, throwing a total of four scoreless innings without receiving a decision.
The Giants counter with Brad Hennessey (5-3, 3.39), who allowed two runs in five innings of the Giants’ 6-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, but did not receive a decision. He was coming off the shortest start of his career, a 14-7 loss to Greg Maddux and the Los Angeles Dodgers in which he gave up seven runs in one inning.
Hennessey is 5-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 13 appearances, including six starts, on the road this season. He has made two career starts against the Braves, going 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA.