Braves 7, Giants 5, 13 innings
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—After months of questions, Bud Selig grabbed a front-row seat for Barry Bonds’ chase of history. On the slugger’s 43rd birthday, no less.
It might be a long wait for the commissioner and everybody else.
On a day the ballpark and much of downtown lost electricity, Bonds dealt with his own power shortage, going 1-for-5 with two called strikeouts and remaining at 753 home runs and two from tying the record held by Hank Aaron—a close friend of Selig.
Edgar Renteria lined a go-ahead, two-run double with two outs in the 13th inning of the Atlanta Braves’ 7-5 victory Tuesday night in a game that lasted 4 hours, 8 minutes. Selig stuck it out until the end.
After Bonds went the distance in a long game, manager Bruce Bochy said he would wait until Wednesday to decide whether the slugger would start in the third game of the series.
“I’ll see how he’s doing tomorrow,” Bochy said. “Barry’s wait and see.”
Tim Hudson held Bonds to a two-out single to right in the fourth in one of the right-hander’s best outings all year, but closer Bob Wickman couldn’t hold the lead and the Giants rallied with four runs in the ninth.
Peter Moylan (4-1) pitched the 11th and 12th for the win. Chipper Jones homered, doubled and added an RBI single in the 13th. Tyler Yates got two outs for his second save, allowing Pedro Feliz’s broken-bat single that drove in a run.
Bonds grounded out to second to start the second inning, singled in the fourth and was called out on strikes in the seventh. He popped out with two on and no outs in the ninth, then struck out looking again in the 10th. Bonds walked on five pitches in the 13th, his 100th of the year—his major league record 14th season with 100 or more walks to pass Babe Ruth. Bonds then was hit with a throw from first baseman Chris Woodward as he went to second on Ryan Klesko’s grounder.
Bonds is 2-for-14 since homering twice against the Cubs at Wrigley Field last Thursday, and he’s both taking some huge cuts and watching a lot of good pitches go by.
Bonds also made a pretty sliding catch on Brian McCann’s sinking liner to start the 10th and the sellout crowd erupted in delight.
Selig attended San Francisco’s weekend series in his hometown of Milwaukee, then traveled to the Bay Area for a surprise visit and said he will try to attend the record-breaking game. Selig watched from a box on the broadcast level with Giants executive vice president Larry Baer as well as owner Peter Magowan.
“Throughout this season, I have watched Barry Bonds’ pursuit of the home run record. Now that he is on the verge of tying the record, the time has come to announce that I will make every attempt to attend the record-setting moment,” Selig said in a statement Tuesday.
“Out of respect for the tradition of this game, the magnitude of the record, and the fact that all citizens in this country are innocent until proven guilty, I will attend Barry Bonds’ next games to observe his potential tying and breaking of the home run record, subject to my commitments to the Hall of Fame this weekend.”
Baer said of the commissioner’s visit, “Everybody agreed it was a good thing and the right thing.”
Hudson, who has surrendered four of Bonds’ homers, allowed six hits in 8 2-3 innings, pitching shutout ball until Rich Aurilia singled with two outs in the ninth. Wickman, who blew his fifth save chance, gave up Feliz’s two-run double, then pinch-hitter Bengie Molina hit a tying single.
“Typical Huddy game,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “He pitches his (tail) off and then we blow it. He can’t pitch any better than that. He was just unbelievable. Huddy’s snake-bit with this type of game. It’s unbelievable. He ought to be on his way to 20 (wins).”
Jonathan Sanchez (1-2) walked Julio Franco with one out in the 13th that allowed Atlanta to rally. After Aurilia later threw out Woodward at the plate to save the go-ahead run, Renteria hit his two-out double.
Fans were spirited for Bonds’ special day. He tossed a pair of batting gloves up to one fan from the dugout after taking batting practice.
“Happy Birthday, Barry!” several people cheered as he disappeared down the stairs on his way back to the clubhouse.
A whole section behind Bonds’ spot in left sang to the slugger moments before first pitch.
Carina Reyes, 9, and her 8-year-old cousin, Alexis Juarez, staked out the players’ parking lot hours early with signs to greet Bonds on his special day.
“Happy Birthday, Barry!” Reyes’ bright orange sign read.
“Feliz Cumpleanos, Barry!” Juarez’s matching one said in Spanish.
They were also hoping he’d sign the baseball cards they brought.
“I doubt it though, ‘cause he never signs,” Juarez said.
Franco, who turns 49 next month and said Tuesday he plans to play until he’s 50, and Bonds hugged on the field before the game.
Giants starter Matt Morris saw his winless stretch reach seven starts since he beat Toronto on June 11.
Tuesday marked the 34th anniversary of Bonds’ late father, Bobby, hitting a home run in the ’73 All-Star game in Kansas City and being selected MVP. … Bonds played on his birthday for the first time since 2004. He has homered twice on his birthday, in 1989 and 2003. Someone brought a colorful cake with ’43’ on it. … Hudson had his ninth hit of the year in his first 45 at-bats when he singled in the fourth. … The game drew 43,072 fans for the Giants’ 23rd sellout.