Dodgers 5, Giants 3
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Barry Bonds flipped a laundry cart to the ground and stalked away.
Calling himself an “embarrassment” and mired in one of the worst slumps of his career, it was his hardest hit of the day.
Bonds had a second straight 0-for-5 performance to extend his hitless stretch to a season-worst 20 at-bats, and his San Francisco Giants lost their 11th in a row at home to the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-3 on Sunday.
“It’s an embarrassment for me to be wearing this (expletive deleted) uniform ‘cause of the way I’m playing. There, that’s it. Now go away,” Bonds said at his locker.
Then he overturned the cart as he walked through the clubhouse, a rare public display of emotion with his chase of Hank Aaron’s home run record at a standstill. He’s been at 751 homers and four from tying the Hammer since July 3.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy suggested his star player might be too “pull conscious.”
When asked about that, Bonds said, “That’s not it.”
Does he need a day off? “That’s not it, either.”
Whatever it is, the Dodgers were happy his problems happened when they were in town.
“We didn’t do much differently. We certainly caught him at a good time,” Los Angeles manager Grady Little said. “He’s at a point where he’s really trying to get it done. He will eventually. But hopefully it will be against another team.”
With Bonds searching for another long ball, the Dodgers won with small ball to hand their biggest NL West foe a fourth straight loss.
The Dodgers scored twice on squeeze bunts.
Bonds’ legs are sore and it shows. This is the slugger’s longest period without a hit since his record-breaking 2001 season.
“Everybody goes through it,” Bochy said. “Barry, tough series for him, no getting around it. He knows it. We all know it. He’s our go-to guy.”
Matt Kemp had an RBI triple among his three hits and scored twice, including on Brett Tomko’s safety squeeze in the fourth inning, to help the Dodgers continue their dominance in San Francisco’s waterfront ballpark. Los Angeles’ streak is the club’s longest in any city since 13 straight wins at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park from 1976-77.
A few Dodgers fans waved blue brooms during the seventh-inning stretch, calling for a sweep.
Bonds popped out in the first, flied out in the third, popped out to end the fifth, struck out swinging to end the seventh and popped up for the final out of the game. He was hitless for the sixth straight game and had consecutive 0-for-5 or worse performances for only the fourth time in his career.
“Barry Bonds, he’s human,” Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said. “He’s going to have times when he’s not swinging the bat really well. We pretty much got lucky.”
The way this weekend went for the Giants, their fans were forced to come down from the high of last week’s All-Star game in a hurry. San Francisco lost its fourth straight and is winless after the break—at a time the team knows it must turn things around quickly.
Jeff Kent had a sacrifice fly against his former team and Tomko (2-7), another former Giant, pitched five innings for the win in his first start since May 21 against Milwaukee.
Jonathan Broxton struck out Dave Roberts to escape a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and the Dodgers won again after an 8-7 victory in 12 innings Saturday. Takashi Saito bounced back from consecutive blown saves for his 24th save in 27 chances.
Bonds’ last homer—17th this season—came in the first inning July 3 at Cincinnati off Aaron Harang. Bonds has gone 23 at-bats without a homer since then.
The boats were out in force in McCovey Cove on the final day of a short homestand, hoping for a splash-hit souvenir. San Francisco now heads out for four games at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs starting Monday night, followed by three in Milwaukee.
Bonds was in an 0-for-17 funk this year before hitting his 746th homer against the Rockies on May 27. He had a hitless stretch of 21 at-bats 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.
“It’s not just one guy,” said Ray Durham, who bats before Bonds in the order. “We’re a team. We’re a family.”
Bonds committed just his second error of the year in left field when he booted James Loney’s single in the fourth. Kemp followed with his triple and scored when Noah Lowry interfered with him while trying to field a safety squeeze bunt by Tomko and was given an error.
Bonds’ legs, feet and toes have been swollen in recent days and he’s still tired from the All-Star game festivities this past week in his city. He was selected to his 14th All-Star game and first since 2004, and started in left field.
Lowry (9-7) had his winning streak snapped at three starts and saw the end of his seven-game unbeaten run at home. Bengie Molina’s two-run single put San Francisco ahead in the first and Durham hit a tying RBI triple in the fifth to make it 3-all.
Omar Vizquel, the Giants’ 40-year-old 11-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop, turned a pretty, barehanded double play in the third when he fielded Kent’s bouncer with his right hand.
Giants RF Randy Winn still had swelling in his bruised right foot and got the day off. … Kent’s first-inning RBI was his 1,427th, tying him with Charlie Gehringer for 57th on the career list. … The Dodgers have won 15 of the past 18 against the Giants overall.