Extra swings

Tim Brown

SAN DIEGO – Stuck on 754 home runs for eight days, Barry Bonds on Saturday afternoon participated in early batting practice at Petco Park, taking 11 rounds of swings, most off San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

Many long-time club observers could not recall the last time Bonds took early batting practice.

In an empty ballpark, Bonds worked to extricate himself from a slump in which he has two singles in his past 18 at-bats, all since he arrived on the verge of the all-time home-run record.

Alternating with young outfielders Fred Lewis and Rajai Davis, and with his son, Nikolai, shagging balls in left field, Bonds seemed gradually to find his home-run swing. He did not hit a home run in his first two rounds, consisting of about 10 swings each, and then cleared the fences in right, center and left fields at will. He hit 19 in all, nine to center and left fields. After about 100 swings, Bonds leaned on his bat, finished and fatigued.

The Giants face San Diego Padres right-hander Clay Hensley Saturday night at Petco. Bonds, who is in the lineup and batting cleanup, is 2 for 11 with no home runs against Hensley in his career.