Giants 2, Brewers 0


MILWAUKEE (AP) – The best contact Barry Bonds made was with his forehead.

Bonds didn’t come any closer to catching Babe Ruth after getting bonked in the head during batting practice. Instead it was Pedro Feliz who went deep, and Jason Schmidt pitched a gem to lead the San Francisco Giants over the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0 Wednesday night.

Bonds remains at 712, two shy of matching Ruth for second place.

Schmidt (2-2) outpitched Dave Bush (2-3), scattering five hits and striking out seven for his ninth career shutout. He retired 13 of 14 at one point, allowing only an off-the-wall double to Geoff Jenkins.

But he got in trouble in the ninth, giving up singles to Brady Clark and Jenkins. Clark advanced to third on a fielder’s choice but Schmidt struck out Prince Fielder to end the game.

Bush allowed three hits in eight innings, but one was the two-run homer by Feliz in the second. He struck out six while walking none.

The victory stopped the Giants’ three-game losing streak, their longest of the season.

Slowed by a tender, surgically repaired knee and a swollen left elbow, Bonds went the first 14 games of the season without a homer. He’s warmed up right along with the weather, though, and came to Milwaukee with four homers in his previous 22 at-bats, including 712 in the eighth inning Tuesday.

But Bonds looked creaky, old and overmatched against Bush and the rest of the Brewers. He went 0-for-4, and the best he could do was a pop to shallow center in the third.

Part of that could be the knock he took before the game. Bonds was standing behind the cage during batting practice when a ball hit by Giants infielder Kevin Frandsen struck the net, and Bonds. The slugged yelped, then let out an expletive.

He seemed stunned, then laid down for several minutes while the Giants’ medical staff checked him out. He was taken into the clubhouse for an examination, but returned to hit after getting medical clearance.

But Bonds seemed off the rest of the night. He went 0-for-4 with a mighty strikeout, and the hardest ball he hit was a weak fly to center.

Bonds came into the game averaging a homer every 7.5 at-bats against Milwaukee, his best percentage against any NL team, the Brewers certainly didn’t seem afraid of him. When he came to the plate in the first inning with a runner on third and two outs, Bush pitched to him – and got him on a lazy grounder to first.

When Bonds popped up to the catcher to end the ninth, he flipped his bat to the side. Jason Ellison replaced him in left field for the final half-inning, much to the delight of Brewers’ fans.

Though fans in San Francisco continue to adore Bonds, serenading him with chants of “Barry! Barry!” every time he steps to the plate, Milwaukee fans booed lustily whenever Bonds stepped to the plate, drowning out his introduction, and the jeers seemed to get louder with each pitch.

He was up against another giant, “American Idol,” when he came to the plate in the sixth inning, and it was clear who Brewers fans would have voted out if they had a chance.

They didn’t let up when the Brewers were batting, either. Fans in the left-field seats – one of the few sections in the park that was filled – taunted him with chants of “Steroids, Steroids” throughout the game.

Major League Baseball has already said it won’t celebrate if and when he tops 714, and commissioner Bud Selig was conspicuous by his absence at Miller Park. Selig was in his hometown Wednesday.

Bonds said before the game that he doesn’t worry about the fans’ reaction, and he doesn’t take baseball’s party moratorium as a personal affront.

“I don’t like those stories. I don’t talk about them, so I have no idea,” he said. “I just have to go out there and play the game and do the best I can. And whatever happens, happens.”

Notes: Schmidt is 5-1 in his last six starts against Milwaukee. … The shutout was Schmidt’s first since Aug. 12, 2004, in Pittsburgh. He gave up four hits in a 7-0 victory. … The Brewers put RHP Tomo Ohka on the 15-day DL with a partial tear in his right rotator cuff and capsular injury Wednesday. Ohka was removed from Monday night’s game against the Houston Astros after feeling tightness in his shoulder and had an MRI Wednesday. It is unclear who will take his spot in the starting rotation for Saturday’s game in Los Angeles. Ohka is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in six starts for the Brewers this season.

AP-ES-05-03-06 2229EDT