|Bonds moves within 5 of Aaron's mark; Astros foil Fuentes again|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 29 June 2007 21:42|
Bonds moved within five of tying Hank Aaron's record, an inning after getting a startling hug from a fan in a 4-3, 10-inning loss to Arizona. Miguel Montero hit a solo homer off Brad Hennessey (1-3) in the 10th for the Diamondbacks and San Francisco lost its third straight.
Meanwhile, the Astros hit a walk-off home run for the second straight night off Colorado Rockies closer Brian Fuentes in a 9-8 victory.
``Everybody in that clubhouse knows he's going to get a lot of attention reaching this milestone, as he should,'' Giants manger Bruce Bochy said. ``It's going to be a big moment in baseball. Right now, we're all embarrassed with where we're at, how we're playing, things that are happening on the field.''
The 42-year-old Bonds led off the eighth inning with a solo shot off D-backs starter Livan Hernandez to tie the game at 3. Watching the ball sail over the wall in right-center, he lowered his head and began his trot. The main center-field scoreboard immediately featured a road sign reading ``Bonds 750'' in the middle and ``Road to History'' on either side.
The home run came an inning after a fan gave everybody a scare when he hopped the fence and ran out to Bonds in left field. The seven-time NL MVP calmly greeted the man and walked him off and into the custody of security personnel.
The fan came out over the short fence along the left-field line and scurried to Bonds while Orlando Hudson was batting. Bonds didn't flinch, putting his arm around the man and walking him off the field - and fans began chants of ``Barry! Barry!''
``He just wanted to shake my hand,'' Bonds told MLB.com while quickly leaving the ballpark. ``I told him to come with me so he didn't get into any more trouble.''
The Giants said the man, in the custody of San Francisco police, would face charges of public drunkenness and interfering with a sporting event. His name and age were not immediately available.
Bochy credited Bonds for not panicking.
``My first feeling was fear,'' said center fielder Dave Roberts, who began to move toward Bonds. ``Barry handled it like a pro. I'm glad the situation was diffused.''
In other NL games, New York swept a doubleheader from Philadelphia, 6-5 and 5-2; Chicago 6, Milwaukee 5; Pittsburgh 3, Washington 2; Atlanta 12, Florida 3; St. Louis 4, Cincinnati 2; and San Diego 7, Los Angeles 6.
It was the fourth blown save in eight days for Fuentes, and the Rockies have lost eight straight.
With two outs, Fuentes (0-4) walked Carlos Lee, who hit a grand slam in the 11th off Fuentes on Thursday night. Loretta followed, homering to the Crawford Boxes in left for his second home run of the season.
The Astros are the first team to win consecutive games with walk-off home runs since Tampa Bay did it on May 19-20, 2006, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
It's hard to imagine things getting much worse for Fuentes, who had 20 saves in 22 chances and a 1.89 ERA on June 21 but is 0-4 with a 42.43 ERA, allowing 11 runs in 2 1-3 innings since then. Manager Clint Hurdle said giving Fuentes a break from closing was ``a possibility'', but he still had the support of his teammates.
``He's my guy. I've got complete faith in him,'' first baseman Todd Helton said. ``He's the closer. It's a tough job. That's why you pick a guy with the right attitude who's able to bounce back and I know he will.''
Cubs 6, Brewers 5
Aramis Ramirez hit a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning, capping a three-run rally against Milwaukee closer Francisco Cordero for host Chicago.
The NL Central-leading Brewers led 5-3 going into the ninth before Alfonso Soriano and Mike Fontenot singled with one out off Cordero (0-2).
One batter later, Ramirez homered into the left-center-field bleachers, setting off a wild celebration at Wrigley Field.
Mets 6, Phillies 5, 1st game; Mets 5, Phillies 2, 2nd game
Carlos Beltran homered twice and John Maine dominated the Phillies again, helping visiting New York complete a sweep of a day-night doubleheader to move five games ahead of the Phillies.
In the nightcap, Maine (9-4) allowed two runs - one earned - and four hits in eight-plus innings to improve to 4-0 with a 2.13 ERA in six career starts against Philadelphia. In the opener, Orlando Hernandez (4-3) gave up two runs and three hits.
Pirates 3, Nationals 2
Jose Bautista's second sacrifice fly of the game drove in the winning run in the ninth inning, and host Pittsburgh rallied from two runs down to beat slumping Washington.
The Nationals have been limited to five runs while losing four in a row. They have dropped five of six and 10 of 13.
Cardinals 4, Reds 2
Juan Encarnacion's tiebreaking single in the eighth inning helped visiting St. Louis rally past Cincinnati, giving reliever Troy Percival a triumphant return to the majors.
The 37-year-old Percival pitched a perfect seventh inning and earned his first victory since April 22, 2005.
The Reds fell a season-low 20 games under .500, leaving them with the worst record in the majors at 30-50.
Braves 12, Marlins 3
Chuck James held Florida to a run and four hits and had two hits of his own for visiting Atlanta, which won its fourth straight.
James (7-7) went 6 2-3 innings and struck out five to win for the second time in three starts. Marlins starter Josh Johnson (0-3) pitched four innings, allowing two runs and five hits.
Padres 7, Dodgers 6
Rookie Kevin Kouzmanoff's three-run homer broke a tie in a six-run fourth inning for visiting San Diego.
Chris Young (8-3) allowed two runs and seven hits, struck out nine and walked one in winning his fourth straight decision. Hong-Chih Kuo (1-4) gave up seven runs on six hits, struck out three and walked three in losing his third in a row.