Bonds quiet as Giants get win

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -Barry Bonds wanted a pitcher to challenge him. Dontrelle Willis was more than ready.

Hopping off the mound, pumping his fist and throwing fastball after fastball, Willis kept history on hold Saturday night.

Bonds went hitless a night after connecting for his 754th home run, leaving the San Francisco star one shy of tying Hank Aaron’s record in the Giants’ 4-3 win over to Florida on Saturday night.

With his mom in the stands, Willis overmatched the slugger he admired growing up in the Bay Area. In the end, Bonds could only stand at home plate – right in the way of the catcher, actually – and watch a popup on his final swing.

Bonds was 0-for-3 with a walk, popping out twice and striking out against Willis, who has lost seven straight decisions, the longest skid of his big league career. Willis grew up just across San Francisco Bay in Alameda and often watched Bonds at Candlestick Park as a kid.

Bonds, on deck with Ray Durham got the winning single in the ninth, gets another chance against Florida on Sunday, when the Marlins start Sergio Mitre. After a day off Monday, Bonds’ pursuit moves on to Los Angeles – where he’ll be in front of hostile fans at Dodger Stadium.

Bonds struck out in the first, popped to second in the third, walked in the sixth and then popped out to the catcher in the seventh.

Willis is 0-7 in 11 starts since beating the Cubs on May 29 at Wrigley Field. He kept up his success against left-handed sluggers – he hasn’t allowed a homer to a lefty since Ryan Howard connected on July 29 last year.

In 11 plate appearances against Willis, Bonds has singled once, struck out twice and walked five times.

Notes: Pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney lined a tying RBI double in the ninth off Kevin Gregg (0-4) ahead of Durham’s hit. Jack Taschner (2-0) was the winner.

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