Red Sox 9, Giants 5

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BOSTON (AP)—Barry Bonds added baseball’s oldest ballpark to his longball list and was back on his way to the sport’s most hallowed record.

The San Francisco slugger hit his 748th career homer in Boston’s 9-5 victory over the Giants on Sunday, adding Fenway Park, the Red Sox and knuckleballer Tim Wakefield to his scrapbook and moving within seven of Hank Aaron’s mark.

“I thought it was a popup, and I turned around and saw J.D. (Drew) just keep going back, further and further and further,” said Wakefield, the 441st pitcher to feed Bonds’ home run habit. “He put a good swing on it, and I’m sure he’s put a lot of swings on a lot of other pitchers.”

The last time Bonds homered off a knuckler was when he hit No. 73 of 2001 off Los Angeles Dodger Dennis Springer to establish the single-season record. Bonds had been hitless in eight at-bats against Wakefield, even joking that the pitches were too slow to hit hard.

“I think my age got me slower so I’m more able to time it a bit better,” Bonds said with a smile after going 2-for-3 on Sunday. “I tip my cap to him, he came after me in every at-bat. He gave me something to hit.”

But his sixth-inning solo shot merely cut Boston’s lead to 8-4, and Manny Ramirez padded the lead with his second homer in as many games. Ramirez was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, David Ortiz had a pair of doubles, and Wakefield (7-7) pitched well before faltering in the sixth to help the Red Sox complete the three-game sweep.

“I was fortunate enough to pitch to him where a home run didn’t bother us too much,” said Wakefield, who allowed five runs and eight hits with a walk, striking out three in 5 2-3 innings. “It’s great to walk away from this homestand 4-2. To sweep San Francisco was special.”

Playing in just his sixth career game, Nate Schierholtz had three hits, including his first career triple. Pedro Feliz hit a solo homer for the Giants— his ninth of the season (and the 98th of his career)—but the one that got even some Red Sox fans cheering came from Bonds.

The lifetime National Leaguer, a seven-time MVP, has now homered in 36 ballparks, adding Fenway to the list in his third game at the ballpark that was the first home of the first man to top 700 homers. Bonds passed Babe Ruth and his 714 total last year, and resumed his pursuit of Aaron’s 755 with 11 homers in his first 76 at-bats this year; but he has just three in 91 at-bats since.

“It was never gone,” Bonds said of his home run stroke. “It’s the person. It’s me. Sometimes you just don’t have it. Sometimes you do.”

Bonds and Wakefield were teammates with Pittsburgh in 1992, when Atlanta scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning in the seventh game of the NL championship series to beat the Pirates and advance to the World Series. All this weekend, Bonds has lamented the fact that Wakefield didn’t pitch the series finale.

“When we were in Pittsburgh, we loved him,” Bonds said. “We’re both in our 40s now, and he’s still good.”

Bonds singled in the second against his ex-teammate and hit a long—but not threatening—fly ball to center in the third. He came up again to lead off the sixth, posing for some pictures while on deck for both Giants and Red Sox fans.

After a mixed response, he watched a ball go by and then sent the next knuckler to right, on a line toward the red seat that marks Ted Williams’ longest home run. Drew chased after the ball and reached out for it, but it went into the Giants bullpen.

“I didn’t move at first,” Drew said. “I thought it was a fly ball and I was under it about 10 different times.”

The crowd, with a fair amount of Giants orange scattered throughout, offered some brief applause before the clapping was overwhelmed by the hometown jeering. One fan about eight rows behind the Giants on-deck circle held up a T-shirt that said “Huge Giant Head.”

But overall there was less derision than Bonds received for his first-ever visit to Fenway on Friday, when Boston fans greeted him with more emphatic booing, along with the requisite asterisk banners and some chants reminding him of the steroid investigation surrounding him.

“I believe I had two, but we’ll leave it at one,” Bonds said, still smarting over a high fly ball that was ruled foul on Friday night, postponing his first Fenway homer for two more days. Replays showed he might have been right, but it was a close call.

Bonds also added a harmless single in the eighth inning of Friday night’s 10-2 loss. On Saturday, when the Red Sox nursed a 1-0 lead to victory, he was twice retired with runners on first and second and nobody out.

Matt Morris (7-4) lasted just four innings for San Francisco on Sunday, allowing eight runs and nine hits. He walked two and struck out two.

Notes

Bonds played all three games in Boston only because he was able to be designated hitter in the AL park. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Bonds will probably take Wednesday off in Milwaukee. … Ramirez is tied with Jim Thome for 25th on the career list with 480 homers. He is tied with Willie McCovey for 36th on the RBI list with 1,555. … The Red Sox played “Take me out to the Ballgame” in the middle of the sixth inning so they could play “God Bless America” in the seventh. … Boston placed RHP Brendan Donnelly on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm on Sunday and recalled RHP Manny Delcarmen from Triple-A Pawtucket. … Bonds was just 2-for-15 in his career against the Red Sox with no homers or RBIs before Sunday.

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