SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Barry Bonds called a team meeting before the game to explain the situation with his ailing father. Then he delivered one of the most emotional home runs of his career to end it.
In his first game back since taking off the weekend series in Montreal to be with his ailing father Bobby, Bonds hit his 651st home run leading off the 10th inning as the San Francisco Giants snapped their longest losing streak in three years with a 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.
“Barry is so great you come to expect stuff like that,” said Giants pitcher Tim Worrell (4-3), who worked two scoreless innings for the win. “It’s amazing his ability to focus with all he’s been through.”
Bonds, who received a standing ovation from the crowd of 42,307 in his first at bat, went 1-for-3 with two walks in his return to the Giants. Bobby Bonds has lung cancer and other ailments.
“I just got a lot of emotions going for me and my dad,” Bonds said before he quickly left Pacific Bell Stadium.
Bonds hit his major league-leading 38th homer on a 2-1 pitch from Ray King (3-2), giving the Giants their first win in seven games.
“I threw a pitch I left up to a great hitter and he, like, hit it,” King said. “I’m not going to put him on a pedestal but he’s a good hitter who hit a difficult pitch.”
Bonds raised both arms in celebration and pumped his fist as he started his slow trot and watched his drive sail over the concourse in right and into McCovey Cove.
“Barry talked to all of us before the game to explain how he wanted to help the team during his sadness and sleepless nights,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “He’s going to hit 700 home runs, but the way we were going there were none bigger than that. It was an incredible feeling. To come out without any practice in almost a week and to end the game like that, I mean that’s something.”
Jose Cruz, Jr. also homered for the Giants.
Pinch-runner Todd Linden scored on a wild pitch with two outs from Trey Hodges in the eighth inning to tie the score at 4-all. Benito Santiago led off with a single. Edgardo Alfonzo sacrificed Linden to second and he advanced to third when Neifi Perez grounded out to first base.
“I felt it was completely my fault,” Hodges said. “They gave me the lead and I couldn’t hold it.”
Braves starter Russ Ortiz, who spent the first five years of his career with the Giants, allowed three runs on six hits over seven innings. He walked five and struck out four.
“The loss is frustrating,” Ortiz said. “Barry has hit some good pitches over the years. That’s why he’s so great.”
Giants starter Jerome Williams gave up four runs and six hits over 6 2-3 innings. He walked one and struck out three.
Giles’ 18th home run of the season gave the Braves a 1-0 lead in the first.
The Giants tied the game with a run in the second. Benito Santiago’s single started the rally. He scored on Perez’s sacrifice fly.
Sheffield led off the fourth with his 32nd homer of the year, extending his career-high hitting streak to 23 games and giving Atlanta a 2-1 edge.
Marquis Grissom doubled home Cruz in the fifth to make it 2-all.
After Robert Fick walked to lead off the seventh, Lopez connected on a 2-1 pitch for his 34th homer of the season, matching his career high firstestablished in 1998.
Braves RHP Roberto Hernandez began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Richmond. … Giants LHP Kirk Rueter pitched 4 2-3 innings of one-hit ball at Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday in a rehab start. … Giants SS Rich Aurilia and RHP Felix Rodriguez were activated from the 15-day DL. … OF Tony Torcato was optioned to Fresno of the PCL. … Ortiz remains 10-1 over his last 12 starts with a 3.13 ERA. … Williams has allowed at least one homer in each of his last five starts after not allowing a homer in his first 10 starts. … TheGiants lost eighth straight between May 12-20, 2000.