Barry Bonds homers again, hits No. 757 to help Giants beat Nationals 5-0
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Barry Bonds wasted no time adding to his home run record: this time, with a two-run shot into the water for No. 757.
It helped Bruce Bochy to his 1,000th managerial victory, too.
Bonds hit a towering homer into McCovey Cove in the first inning of the San Francisco Giants’ 5-0 win against Washington on Wednesday, one night after breaking Hank Aaron’s 33-year-old record with his 756th.
“I’m pretty locked in right now,” Bonds said, noting the atmosphere “is a lot easier today.”
Pitcher Matt Cain later hit his first career home run and overran first base before tapping his left foot on the bag and taking off on his trot, clearly having not paid close enough attention to Bonds’ regular trips around the bases. Cain connected for the solo shot in his 112th at-bat and was the first Giants’ pitcher to homer since Jason Schmidt on Aug. 7 last year at Arizona. It hadn’t happened at home since Schmidt did it two years ago.
Cain traded a bat and another ball for his home run ball, but knows he won’t be clearing the fences often. To catch Bonds, he said, it would take “70 or 80 more years.”
“Come on, be nice about the base,” Cain joked. “If you haven’t noticed, I’ve only been near it once.”
In his first at-bat since becoming home run king, Bonds sent a 1-1 pitch from Tim Redding into the bay beyond the right-field arcade, a 438-foot drive that was his 35th career splash hit and second this year.
When Bonds broke Mark McGwire’s single-season record with No. 71 in 2001, he homered again in his next at-bat to increase the record just like he did Wednesday. Bonds also connected in consecutive chances April 13 at Pittsburgh.
He received a warm standing ovation when he ran out to his spot in left for the first inning and tipped his hat and waved before blowing on his hands to get warm on another cool summer night in the Giants’ ballpark by the bay when first-pitch temperature was 62 degrees.
Bonds said he will sit out Thursday afternoon’s series finale.
“Oh, for sure, day game,” he said.
But he doesn’t plan to have a big celebration just yet for his new title.
“Maybe when the season’s over, back home with my friends,” he said. “I have to work every day. We’ll see. I’m pretty sure somebody will think of something.”
Bonds smiled and nodded his head to some fans on his way to the on-deck circle in the first, then wasted no time adding to his record total.
“That was a great swing,” Bochy said. “That’s the swing we all know. I think last night with the home run it did take a load off him. He can relax a little bit. He can still flat out do things no other player can do, and he showed it tonight.”
Bonds finished the night 1-for-2 with a walk. He drew a six-pitch walk in the fourth—his 115th free pass, matching his total from 2006—and grounded out to shortstop against a shifted infield in the sixth.
Bonds’ 757 blast helped Cain (4-12) end a five-start winless stretch with his first victory since July 4 at Cincinnati.
“That’s awesome,” Cain said of Bonds. “It’s cool he’s just going to keep it going. It feels more relaxed now that this thing’s gotten out of the way (756). I think Barry’s relaxed, too.”
Omar Vizquel and Bengie Molina added RBI singles for San Francisco, which played the eighth game in a stretch of 31 games in 30 days. The Giants have a makeup doubleheader Monday in Pittsburgh after a home weekend series with the Pirates.
Bochy became the 55th skipper in major league history to reach the 1,000 win mark. He is sixth among active managers.
“You’re thankful that everybody has given you an opportunity to reach this,” Bochy said. “It does mean I have been around. … There are a lot of losses in there, too.”
Redding (1-3) became the 447th pitcher to surrender a home run to Bonds after Mike Bacsik served up the record-breaking solo drive a night earlier. Bonds hit his 23rd homer of the season, then tipped his cap when he came out in the top of the second to play left field.
“It was the first pitch he’s seen inside in a while and I don’t know how hard it was, if it was 93-94, but he turned on a dime on that ball,” Washington catcher Brian Schneider said. “That’s the kind of hitter he is. He’s a freak of nature.”
Cain allowed three hits and struck out three in six innings. Jack Taschner retired six of seven hitters in two innings and Vinnie Chulk finished the four-hitter for the team’s eighth shutout. Washington was blanked for the ninth time.
Nationals first baseman Dmitri Young left in the second inning because of tightness in his left hamstring. Young, who signed a two-year contract extension with the Nationals in late July, hurt himself running out a routine grounder in the first.
“I felt some tightness,” he said. “Manny (Acta) took me out for precautionary reasons. I’ll be ready for the weekend.”
Young, hitting .333, is hitless in six at-bats since hitting a home run in the 10th inning of Monday night’s 3-2 loss to San Francisco. Robert Fick replaced him in the lineup.
The fan who retrieved Bonds’ 757th ball, regular cove kayaker Martin Wong, was whisked away to have the souvenir authenticated. This was Wong’s first ever Bonds ball. … San Francisco drew 42,991 fans for its 31st sellout. The Giants have played in front of 29 straight sellout crowds, home and away (15 in San Francisco).