San Francisco (75-79) at Milwaukee (72-83)

Light Rain Currently: Milwaukee, WI
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 2:05 pm EDT Sun Sep 24, 2006
  • TV: FSN+, WYTU
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Barry Bonds’ most recent home run may have broken a major league record, but it didn’t help the San Francisco Giants’ dwindling playoff chances.

Bonds and the Giants finish up their final road trip of the season when they close a four-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday at Miller Park.

Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s NL home run record with his 734th career homer in the Giants’ 10-8 loss to the Brewers (72-83) on Saturday. The San Francisco (75-79) slugger’s 26th homer of the season left him 21 homers shy of Aaron’s major league career mark of 755.

“It’s a good accomplishment, but I just want to win,” said Bonds, who drove in a season-high six runs. “It’s not fun to talk right now. I wish it were a better time.”

The struggling Giants have dropped seven of their last eight games and are rapidly falling out of playoff contention. San Francisco is tied with Cincinnati in the wild card standings, and both teams trail Philadelphia by six games with eight to play.

Bonds has homered twice during this four-game series in Milwaukee, the city where Aaron started and ended his 23-year career.

After batting .222 in July, Bonds is hitting .339 in September to raise his average to .275 for the season. The 42-year-old’s health remains an issue, though, and the Giants have said they may be willing to part with the temperamental left fielder.

“We said we would evaluate all this at the end of the year, and you can’t do it until the end of the year,” San Francisco owner Peter Magowan said. “And that was, I think, in retrospect, a pretty smart thing to say. Because if people had said, ‘We’ll evaluate it when he was hitting .230 and not doing anything,’ the evaluation would have been very simple for a lot of people.

“There are a lot of things that cannot be determined until we stop playing baseball this year.”

San Francisco will hand the ball to Matt Cain (13-10, 3.99 ERA) on Sunday to close its 10-game road trip. Cain is looking to bounce back from his first loss in seven starts. The right-hander allowed seven runs and a season-high 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings on Tuesday in a 12-4 defeat to the Colorado Rockies.

Cain had been 5-0 with a 0.21 ERA in his previous six starts. The 21-year-old rookie has never faced the Brewers.

Milwaukee counters with Ben Sheets (5-7, 4.21). Sheets gave up four runs and tied a season-high with 10 hits allowed in six innings of Tuesday’s 12-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

“It was a struggle,” Sheets said. “It definitely wasn’t good. One thing I’m happy with, I think I kept some crooked numbers off the board each inning. But it definitely wasn’t one of my better performances.”

Sheets is 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA in four career starts against the Giants, whom he has not faced this season.

Bonds is 3-for-6 with one homer in his career off Sheets.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Cain SF vs. B. Sheets Atl
13-12 Record 6-7
4.15 ERA 3.82
179 K 116
87 BB 11
1.28 WHIP 1.09


Sunday, Sep 24