CHICAGO (AP) -Barry Bonds hit his 752nd home run Thursday, ending his worst slump in six years with a single swing - and Hank Aaron's record is only three away.
He was rested and ready, all right.
Bonds sent the first pitch from Cubs starter Ted Lilly over the right-field fence leading off the second inning - and it was the first drive out of Wrigley Field to reach Sheffield Avenue all season. Bonds' solo shot and 18th homer this season pulled the Giants within 4-1. It was San Francisco's first hit off Lilly, who surrendered his third career homer to Bonds.
The fans both cheered and booed when his ball sailed out right toward a beer billboard reading ``755 BOTTLES OF BEER ON THE WALL.''
Bonds connected for the first time in 25 at-bats since his last homer July 3 at Cincinnati. He also ended a season-worst 0-for-21 slump, two off his career high set during his rookie season in 1986. The latest funk was his longest 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.
Bonds, who turns 43 on Tuesday, returned to the Giants' starting lineup for the series finale after missed two of the first three games completely while nursing his sore legs. He pinch hit Tuesday night, the first time he hadn't started three in a row since sitting five straight games from June 7-11, 2006.
``I'm good,'' Bonds said while heading out to the field before the game on a breezy, foggy day.
The fans started booing Bonds lustily before he even took the field, hollering in displeasure when his name was announced with the starting lineups. They let him have it again when he emerged from the dugout and stepped into the on-deck circle in the first but didn't bat.
He was jeered again when he took his spot in left field for the first time, with fans lining the fence to give their voices a better chance of being heard by the slugger.
Bonds was in an 0-for-17 slump before hitting his 746th homer against the Rockies on May 27.
Bonds also ended a seven-game hitless stretch with his homer against Chicago.
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