Chase Is On

After taking Independence Day off, Barry Bonds is expected to resume his chase of Hank Aaron's all-time home run record Thursday night when the San Francisco Giants close out a three-game set with the Cincinnati Reds.

Bonds, who was recently voted by fans to start in Tuesday's All-Star game at San Francisco, pulled within four homers of Aaron's record of 755 on Tuesday with a two-run shot off Aaron Harang in a 7-3 loss for the Giants (36-46).


Oddsmakers have made Cincinnati -130 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 10un total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 54% of bets for this game have been placed on San Francisco +110 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

With Wednesday's game being played in the afternoon, Giants manager Bruce Bochy opted to rest Bonds and his achy legs, the usual move for a quick turnaround in the schedule.

"I talked to Barry quite a while here," Bochy said. "It's general soreness. He talked about doing something to get ready. I said, 'Let's give you a day today.' With the travel, a night game to day game, I'd rather give him a day to get fresh for the rest of the road trip. ... We'll see how it goes. If he feels good, he'll play the rest of them."

That could mean four consecutive days in the lineup for Bonds heading into the All-Star break.

Without the slugger on Wednesday, the Giants beat Cincinnati 9-5 as Fred Lewis, Bonds' fill-in, hit a grand slam in the fourth inning to become the first San Francisco rookie to hit two in a season.

"We were joking around on the bench," Lewis said. "The trainer was like, 'C'mon, Barry.' And I was like, 'Oh, yeah, I am Barry today. I'm playing left field.'"

Bonds has been hot lately, going 11-for-24 (.458) with three homers in his last nine games.

Matt Morris (7-4, 3.25 ERA) hopes Bonds can keep that up as he looks for some help after a solid outing on Friday was wasted due to a two-run error. The right-hander allowed three runs - one earned - and 10 hits in seven innings of a 4-3, 10-inning loss to Arizona.

Morris has been effective at Great American Ball Park, going 1-1 with a 1.89 ERA.

The Reds (32-52), owners of the worst record in the NL, hope Ken Griffey Jr. can help them solve Morris and win a three-game set for the first time since taking two of three from Cleveland June 8-10. Cincinnati is 7-13 since that series and has split two games under interim manager Pete Mackanin, who replaced the fired Jerry Narron on Monday.

Griffey, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs Wednesday, is 6-for-19 (.316) with three home runs against Morris. Another homer would move him into a tie for sixth all-time with Frank Robinson at 586.

The Reds could use another solid effort from Bronson Arroyo (2-9, 4.89), who allowed one run and six hits in seven innings Friday before the bullpen allowed three runs in the eighth of a 4-2 loss to St. Louis.

"I haven't exactly been throwing good start after good start out there, so I have nothing to complain about," said Arroyo, who is 0-7 with a 6.55 ERA in 10 starts since his last victory on May 6. "That's the way things are going this year. Even when I throw well, I don't get a win."

Arroyo threw a three-hitter in his last start against the Giants, a 3-0 win on Sept. 5.

He has had success against Bonds, holding him hitless in five at-bats while walking him four times.

by: Dave Michaels - – Email Us

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