CHICAGO (AP) -Barry Bonds was held out of San Francisco's starting lineup Wednesday for the third straight game as the slugger rested his sore legs.
Bonds was available to pinch hit against the Chicago Cubs, as he did during the Giants' 4-2 victory on Tuesday. The seven-time NL MVP took batting practice before the afternoon game at Wrigley Field, waving to the booing crowd with his left hand before disappearing into the batting cage through an opening in the ivy in right field.
``The plan is to play tomorrow,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ``He's just getting another day. I will use him off the bench. He's fine. He's feeling better. I think he's all set to go tomorrow barring all setbacks.''
Bonds has 751 home runs, four shy of tying Hank Aaron's record. But he hasn't hit one in more than two weeks since a two-run shot at Cincinnati on July 3. He was mired in a season-worst 0-for-21 slump heading into Wednesday's game, his worst since a hitless stretch of the same length from April 5-12, 2001 - the year he broke Mark McGwire's single-season home run record with 73. He is two away from matching a career-worst 0-for-23 drought from July 6-20, 1986, his rookie year.
Bonds was in an 0-for-17 slump before hitting his 746th homer against the Rockies on May 27.
Bonds was not in the starting lineup in three consecutive games for the first time this season, and rookie Fred Lewis replaced him in left field against 11-game winner and right-hander Carlos Zambrano. Bonds didn't start in consecutive games June 5-6 at Arizona while nursing shin splints, and his legs, feet and toes have been swollen again.
He turns 43 next Tuesday and is showing signs that he's worn down despite the impressive numbers for a player his age.
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