Bonds breaks HR record as Giants lose to Nats

Bonds breaks HR record as Giants lose to Nats

Bonds breaks HR record as Giants lose to Nats
August 7th, 2007

San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - With one swing of the bat, Barry Bonds became Major League Baseball's home run champion, bringing the controversy of his accomplishment to a boiling point.

The San Francisco slugger broke one of the most sought-after records in major sports annals, hitting his 756th career homer, breaking the long-time mark held by Hank Aaron, as the Giants lost 8-6 to the Washington Nationals.

With nobody on base, Bonds crushed a 3-2 offering from Mike Bacsik an estimated 435 feet over the wall in right-center field with one out in the fifth inning, giving the Giants a 5-4 lead.

Neither Commissioner Bud Selig nor Aaron were on hand to witness the milestone, but both had something to say after the record was eclipsed. Selig, who was shown with his hands in his pockets without much emotion after Bonds tied the mark Saturday night at San Diego, instead reportedly chose to meet George Mitchell this week to discuss his probe on steroids in baseball.

Bonds doubled to right-center field and scored in the second inning. He singled up the middle and scored on Bengie Molina's two-run homer in the third before his historic drive in the fifth for his 22nd home run of the year.

As soon as the ball left his bat, Bonds knew it was gone as the seven-time National League MVP raised both of his hands and clapped before starting his celebratory trot around the bases.

Bonds' son, Nikolai, was waiting at home plate and hugged his father. Soon after teammates joined in the celebration and Bonds hugged his mother. Then came a surprise announcement on the video board from Aaron.

"I would like to offer my congratulations to Barry Bonds for becoming baseball's career home run leader," Aaron said in the message. "It is a great accomplishment which requires skill, longevity and determination.

"Throughout the past century the home run has held a special place in baseball and I have been privileged to hold this record for 33 of those years. I move over now and offer my best wishes to Barry and his family on this historical achievement.

"My hope today, as it was on that April evening in 1974, is that the achievement of this record will inspire others to chase their own dreams."

After greeting Hall of Famer and his Godfather, Willie Mays, on the field, Bonds addressed the capacity crowd at AT&T Park to comment on eclipsing a record Aaron held since passing Babe Ruth with his 715th career homer on April 8, 1974 off Al Downing.

"It's been fantastic," Bonds said. "I've got to thank my teammates for their support. Through all this, you guys have been strong and you've given me all the support in the world and I'll never forget it as long as I live."

After speaking, Bonds walked to Giants owner Peter Magowan by the stands and shook his hand before talking with manager Bruce Bochy in the dugout. After the half inning ended, Bonds took his place in left field, but was taken out for defensive replacement Rajai Davis. As he walked to the dugout another giant ovation ensued.

Bonds' amazing feat has come with lightning-rod controversy. He has been linked to performance-enhancing drugs and is under investigation for possible perjury charges for lying under oath about steroid use relating from the BALCO scandal. In December 2004, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Bonds used a clear substance and a cream given to him by his personal trainer Greg Anderson during the 2003 baseball season. However, Bonds denied he knew they were steroids during his testimony to a federal grand jury in December, 2003.

Selig later acknowledged talking to Bonds to congratulate him and offered a prepared statement.

"I congratulate Barry Bonds for establishing a new, career home run record," Selig said. "Barry's achievement is noteworthy and remarkable.

"After Barry came out of the game, I congratulated him by telephone and had MLB Executive Vice President Jimmie Lee Solomon and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson - both of whom were at the game and witnessed the record-breaking home run - meet with him on my behalf. While the issues which have swirled around this record will continue to work themselves toward resolution, today is a day for congratulations on a truly remarkable achievement."

A scrum ensued in the bleachers as fans wrestled in an attempt to get the milestone ball. The fan who got the ball was identified as 22-year-old Matt Murphy from Queens, New York. Murphy, who was wearing a Jose Reyes road Mets jersey, was apparently at the game with friends, and was on his way to Australia with a stop in the Bay Area when they secured tickets for the game.

Felipe Lopez had three hits and stroked the go-ahead RBI double during Washington's four-run eighth inning. Lopez also homered, as did Austin Kearns and Brian Schneider for the Nationals, who won for the seventh time in eight games.

Chris Schroder (1-0) threw two innings for his first major league win.

Chad Cordero pitched the ninth inning for his 24th save.

Molina had three RBI for the Giants, who sit in last place in the NL West with losses in four of their last five contests.

Kevin Correia (1-6) didn't retire a batter and suffered the loss.

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