When the San Diego Padres opened Petco Park in 2004, it was proclaimed Bonds-proof. It’s definitely not Hairston-proof.
After failing at Petco in his latest effort to tie Hank Aaron’s home run mark, Bonds and the San Francisco Giants continue their weekend series against the Padres on Saturday night.
Earlier this week, San Diego’s Greg Maddux - a four-time NL Cy Young Award winner - said he didn’t want to give up a milestone homer to Bonds, a seven-time NL MVP. In the Padres’ 4-3 win in 10 innings on Friday night, the 41-year-old Maddux struck out the 43-year-old Bonds in the first, got him to ground out in the third and fly out the sixth.
“I think he was trying to get him out,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “It was great seeing two competitors like that at their age.”
Facing rookie Kevin Cameron in the eighth, Bonds grounded out to first base and was replaced in the bottom of the inning by Fred Lewis. In six games since hitting his 754th homer on July 27 off Florida’s Rick Vanden Hurk, Bonds is 2-for-18 with six walks.
Bonds’ 42 homers in San Diego - 39 at Qualcomm Stadium - are his most in any road city, and his 86 against the Padres are his most against any team. But in a rarity, Bonds was upstaged on Friday by unheralded Scott Hairston.
Acquired in a trade from Arizona on July 27, Hairston hit a three-run homer in the eighth to tie the game and won it with a solo homer in the 10th.
“I was just telling myself to be aggressive. That’s why you play the game, for moments like that. It was a playoff atmosphere,” said Hairston, who came on after Milton Bradley left in the sixth with a hamstring injury.
Bradley said he expects to be back in a couple of days, meaning Hairston may start on Saturday.
While Hairston has been able to easily go deep at home for his new team, Petco could be Bonds’ least favorite stadium to visit. In 25 games there, Bonds is batting only .169 (13-for-77) with just three homers.
“That’s just a shame. That place, they just need to move all of that in,” he said last month.
Should he be in the starting lineup Saturday, Bonds will face Clay Hensley (1-3, 6.49 ERA), against whom he’s hitting .182 (2-for-11) with five walks in his career. Bonds has homered off a record 444 pitchers.
Hensley will be making his first start since May 2 for San Diego (58-50). In three relief appearances since being recalled from the minors on July 25, the right-hander has given up a run and three hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Hensley, though, has failed to get out of the fifth inning in each of his two starts against the Giants this season, and is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA against them this year.
A native of Northbrook, Ill., Misch was tagged for a career-high three runs and three hits in two innings of a 12-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on July 18 in his most recent appearance. He was sent to Triple-A Fresno the next day, and was 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last two starts with the Grizzlies.
Former Padre Dave Roberts went 4-for-5 with a two-run double in Friday’s loss, and raised his average 10 points to .266. Since the All-Star break, Roberts is batting .364 (28-for-77), but the Giants are 9-12 in that span.