SAN FRANCISCO – Barry Bonds gave a long, sweet look to the home run that brought him within one of tying Hank Aaron's all-time record.
Bonds' first-inning home run off Florida's Rick Vanden Hurk, the 754th of his career, sailed over the 404-foot mark in center field at AT&T Park, clearing the wall as Bonds started his trot around the bases.
Facing Vanden Hurk for the first time in his career, Bonds connected on a 2-1 fastball, stood at home plate to admire it and later doffed his cap to the crowd that gave Bonds a rousing ovation as he stood on the doorstep of history.
The home run was Bonds' first in more than a week, ending the frustration that had grown as he managed only a double and two singles in the meantime.
He walked in each of his last four at-bats, and the Giants won, 12-10, as Pedro Feliz, Bengie Molina and Ray Durham also homered.
Before the game, San Francisco Giants owner Peter Magowan talked about the effect Bonds has had on the last-place team and the mounting disillusionment over the attention the home-run chase draws.
"I think," Magowan said, "we'll start winning more consistently once this is behind us."
It will take just one more swing of the bat.