Rockies 6, Giants 4, 10 innings
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—The last thing Barry Bonds cared to discuss was his latest step toward Hank Aaron’s home run record.
Getting swept at home by the Colorado Rockies for the first time stung.
Bonds broke out of a lengthy home run drought Sunday, hitting his 746th career homer in the sixth inning of a 6-4, 10-inning loss against Colorado to pull within nine of Hammerin’ Hank’s career mark of 755.
“I just feel like we lost. That’s how I feel,” Bonds said. “I don’t even talk about me or home runs anymore at all. If you want to talk about us and the team and us winning and losing, that’s fine, but not about me anymore.”
Bonds hesitated and watched the 2-1 fastball from Taylor Buchholz sail over the center-field wall for his 12th homer of the year and first in 15 games since a shot off the Mets’ Tom Glavine on May 8. The two-run drive pulled the Giants within 4-3.
Bonds rounded the bases as “746” flashed on the main scoreboard and he received a big hug from bat-boy son, Nikolai, after crossing home. Fans began chanting “Barry! Barry!”
Moving within single digits of Aaron wasn’t enough to get Bonds talking about the chase.
“‘Cuz, I really don’t want to do it. There’s nothing really to talk about at this point,” he said. “I’ll let you all know, but this time is not the time. Even when we’ve won, I haven’t talked about it. Everyone here knows it.”
Former Giant LaTroy Hawkins gave up Bengie Molina’s tying single to right with two outs in the eighth after Bonds drew a full-count walk with a runner on first, then walked again in the 10th for his 52nd free pass.
Steve Kline (0-1) allowed Todd Helton’s leadoff single in the 10th and Kazuo Matsui entered to pinch run. Randy Winn made a great running catch on Garrett Atkins’ ball at the warning track, but Matsui strayed off second and failed to tag up, missing a key chance to advance. He scored on Tulowitzki’s hit.
Ramon Ramirez (2-1) pitched the ninth for the win as Colorado completed its first three-game sweep in San Francisco, and first in the series since May 24-26, 2002, in Denver. The Rockies have won five in a row for the first time since July 2-6, 2004—after a span of 453 games without doing so.
Brian Fuentes finished for his 11th straight save and 15th in 16 chances overall, setting a franchise record for most saves in a month with 11.
Buchholz became the 439th different pitcher to surrender a home run to Bonds, who earlier ended an 0-for-17 stretch with a leadoff single in the fourth.
The seven-time NL MVP went 14 games without a homer or an RBI, the second-longest RBI drought of his 22-year career. Bonds, who turns 43 on July 24, went 43 at-bats and 63 plate appearances without a homer and his last five games without a hit. Since the last homer, Bonds had drawn 20 walks with seven intentional free passes, struck out eight times and was batting .140 (6-for-43).
“Been there before,” Bonds said of struggling. “It’s 162 days, you’ve got a good chance of turning a lot of things around. … I just think when we all contribute together, we win. Today was just a tough loss for us. I don’t know if we’ve ever been swept by Colorado at home.”
The Rockies haven’t homered during their unbeaten run. Colorado has its first five-game road winning streak since July 23-Aug. 10, 2004, but the only time the Rockies have won four or more away from Coors Field on the same road trip was a six-game unbeaten run from Aug. 8-13, 1993.
“It’s a place that hasn’t been very friendly with us,” manager Clint Hurdle said of the Giants’ waterfront ballpark. “We were able to back up a good first series on the road in Arizona with a better one here. That was our focus when we left. Now our focus will be to go and have a good homestand, which we need to do.”
Matt Holliday hit a go-ahead two-run triple in the fifth. Buchholz, trying to beat the Giants for the first time in three May tries, struck out five and didn’t walk a batter in seven innings—matching his longest outing of the year, which he also did in his previous start May 19 against Kansas City.
Helton added a run-scoring single and Iannetta tripled in a run.
Bonds flied out to left leading off the second then singled to left-center to start the fourth to end his 0-for-17 funk. He stole his second base moments later for No. 511 of his career. Bonds reached third on Molina’s groundout, but the Giants couldn’t drive him home.
After Bonds’ single, Buchholz retired the next seven San Francisco hitters in order before Rich Aurilia’s infield single in the sixth. Bonds followed with the homer.
“He’s very dangerous no matter what,” Buchholz said. “That’s why he’s probably the best hitter of all time.”
Bonds is scheduled to get a break Tuesday night, when the Giants open a three-game series at Shea Stadium—though manager Bruce Bochy left open the possibility that he’d change his mind and write No. 25 into the lineup. Bonds was looking forward to nearly three full days to let his body recover, though he feels good but is just a little tired.
“Unless he changes his mind,” Bonds said of playing the series opener. “That’s OK, though. I’m up for the challenge.”
Bonds had a 21 at-bat hitless stretch from April 5-12, 2001—the year he broke the single-season home run record with 73—and had a career-worst 0-for-23 drought from July 6-20, 1986, during his rookie year, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. … Giants 2B Ray Durham, injured Saturday night, had an MRI exam on his strained abdominal muscle and could be headed for the disabled list.