SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – All Barry Bonds broke Sunday was his maple bat.
Bonds was 1-for-4 with an infield single on the final day of the San Francisco Giants’ homestand, failing to come close to a home run during an 8-5 loss to the Florida Marlins.
Still one homer from tying Hank Aaron’s record of 755, Bonds even took a rare swing on a 3-0 pitch in an effort to reach Hammerin’ Hank. Now he takes his quest to a place where his reception figures to be anything but friendly: Dodger Stadium.
Since hitting No. 754 on Friday night, Bonds is 1-for-7 with five walks.
Bonds was set to fly home to Beverly Hills after Sunday’s game, giving him several nights in his own bed for this coming week. Giants manager Bruce Bochy wasn’t sure whether Bonds would play the opener against the archrival or take the night off to rest.
Bonds would like to set the record at home, but the Giants have a six-game trip to Los Angeles and San Diego that starts Tuesday before returning for a weeklong homestand against Washington and Pittsburgh.
Commissioner Bud Selig, who missed the weekend series for the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, N.Y., planned to be at Dodger Stadium for the series opener.
Before the game, Bonds wouldn’t speculate on what kind of reception he’ll get in Los Angeles – saying he preferred to keep the focus on the team. One reporter asked about his team at Serra High School and suggested there might have been some better batters in his prep lineup.
“There was nobody outhitting me at Serra,” Bonds said. “There wasn’t anybody better than me at any level.”
The seven-time NL MVP watched some film of Marlins starter Sergio Mitre on his personal TV at his corner locker – but mostly he monitored the Yankees’ game at Baltimore to see whether Alex Rodriguez reached the 500-home run mark.
“Are they working in special balls for A-Rod?” Bonds asked, noting he would try to be in the stands to see Rodriguez chase his record someday “if I’m alive.”
He grounded out to second leading off the second inning against Mitre (5-5), trying to pull a 3-0 pitch but beating the ball into the infield. He flied out in the fourth, breaking his bat with his best cut in two days. He glanced down not once but twice at the bit of barrel left in his hands, carried the chunk of wood back to the dugout, said something to catcher Miguel Olivo on the way and handed the piece to his batboy son, 17-year-old Nikolai, as a souvenir.
Bonds grounded out in the sixth and reached in the eighth when Olivo dropped a high popup near the mound, a play first ruled an error but later changed to a hit.
Jeremy Hermida hit a tying RBI double in the seventh off Matt Morris (7-7) and Jason Wood followed with a go-ahead single as the Marlins ended a six-game losing streak and avoided a sweep. Miguel Cabrera homered for the second time this series, doubled, and hit pair of RBI singles on the way to three RBIs for Florida.
Mitre (5-5) was perfect through three innings on 31 pitches, and went after Bonds each time in their first career matchup – just like Dontrelle Willis did Saturday night. Kevin Gregg finished for his 21st save in 23 opportunities after blowing a chance Saturday night in the Marlins’ 4-3 loss.
Morris, 0-4 in eight starts since beating Toronto on June 11, gave up six runs and 13 hits in seven innings, striking out eight and walking none.
Ryan Klesko and Guillermo Rodriguez each hit two-run doubles in San Francisco’s five-run fourth and Omar Vizquel added an RBI single in the inning. But the Giants couldn’t hold a 5-2 lead and saw their four-game winning streak snapped.
Notes: Bonds had faced a 3-0 count 65 times previously this season and not once put the ball in play. He was walked on four pitches 48 of those times. … The 13 hits allowed by Morris matched the most he’s given up in his career. He also did it last month against the Yankees. … The Giants sold out at home for the 28th time this year (42,965).