Giants 4, Diamondbacks 1
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—A dozen or so kids lined up outside the clubhouse and cheered “Barry Bonds! Barry Bonds!” again and again. They kept going even after the slugger’s outgoing 8-year-old daughter, Aisha, made an important announcement.
“He already went inside,” she hollered with a smile, then gave her dad a huge hug the second he emerged.
Bonds barely missed his 751st home run. That did little to lessen the hype around him. His fifth-inning at-bat was the only chance he got, too.
The San Francisco slugger settled for an RBI double and also walked three times in the Giants’ 4-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night, which snapped a three-game skid.
“He’s swinging the bat well,” said manager Bruce Bochy, who planned to write Bonds into the lineup again Sunday for an afternoon game after a night game.
Bonds hesitated and watched his hard-hit ball before seeing it land just below the right-field arcade and realizing he’d better start moving a little faster. Fans jumped to their feet but didn’t get to see what they hoped for: Bonds moving another step closer to Hank Aaron’s home run record of 755, a night after he connected for No. 750.
It was the 376th double for Bonds with the Giants, tying him with his godfather, Hall of Famer Willie Mays, for most in San Francisco history.
Bonds also drew his 80th, 81st and 82nd free passes of the year. The Giants’ victory marked only the second game in 11 meetings with Arizona this year that wasn’t decided by one run.
Bonds stepped in to chants of “Barry! Barry!” to start the seventh, but those quickly turned to boos directed at Dustin Nippert for walking the seven-time NL MVP.
Noah Lowry (8-6) matched his season high with eight strikeouts to win his fifth straight decision against the Diamondbacks, and hasn’t lost to Arizona since April 20, 2005. The left-hander had a no-decision on June 7 at Chase Field, a 5-4 win by the Giants in 11 innings.
This time, Lowry allowed one run and five hits over 6 2-3 innings, walking three. Brad Hennessey pitched the ninth for his fourth save in six chances.
Center fielder Dave Roberts covered a lot of ground to make a great diving catch on Scott Hairston’s liner in the sixth to save a hit, swatting Bonds on the behind in celebration moments later. On Friday, Roberts committed a two-base error that allowed two runs to score and cost San Francisco the game.
“I was happy to do something to help this team out,” Roberts said. “I was happy to atone for yesterday.”
“Nice job, Davis!” one man hollered sarcastically.
Molina then doubled in Durham and Bonds, doing so yet again with two outs and two strikes against him. Molina and Bonds will find out Sunday whether they are All-Stars.
After Bonds’ double, Molina singled and Kevin Frandsen followed with an RBI single.
“I think we’re just tired of playing one-run games,” Frandsen said. “We needed to give Noah some breathing room. He’s pitching great.”
Before the game, Bonds said it’s up to Major League Baseball and the Giants to decide how much security is needed around him as he closes in on Aaron’s mark.
That’s after a barefooted fan hopped the fence and hustled to greet the slugger in left field in the seventh inning Friday night. Andrew Clapp, 24, of Fargo, N.D., faces charges of public drunkenness and interfering with a sporting event.
“It is a big concern, but the guy came out, jumped on the field, had his hands up and said, ‘I just want to shake your hand,’ screaming,” Bonds said. “I said, ‘Fine, come shake my hand.’ … I said, ‘Let’s just walk back together, though, so these guys don’t throw you on the ground and you’ll show them that you mean no harm.’ … I felt safe with him. You come at me one-on-one, you better come with a lot, jack. More than one-on-one is the time to get nervous.”
Davis allowed seven hits and four runs in 5 2-3 innings, struck out four and walked a season-high six.
“I didn’t have my best stuff, but my changeup bailed me out a lot today,” he said. “That’s what Bonds hit off the wall. I tried to get ahead early but I wasn’t able to do that, especially with two outs.”
Davis leads the NL with 54 walks. … The first inning took 30 minutes. … 1B Ryan Klesko was a late scratch with a mild abdominal strain. Kevin Frandsen was added to the lineup to play 3B, while Pedro Feliz moved from third to first. … San Francisco had its 17th sellout with 43,515 fans on Barry Zito bobblehead night. … Hudson has hit in eight straight games and 17 of 18.