|Bonds belts two homers to close within two of Aaron|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 19 July 2007 23:05|
The San Francisco slugger homered twice in a 9-8 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, sending No. 752 over the right-field bleachers at Wrigley Field, and his 753rd into the basket on the wall in left-center.
``He's one of the most special players the game has ever had,'' said Ted Lilly, who served up Bonds' solo shot in the second inning. ``A lot of the negative attention has been unfortunate, not only for him but for the game. I don't know what the facts are in his history. I respect him.''
Now the attention turns to Miller Park in Milwaukee, the city where Hank Aaron started and ended his career. It's also the home of commissioner Bud Selig, who hasn't said whether he'll be in the seats as Bonds closes in on No. 755.
T Park for a seven-game homestand against the Braves and Marlins that starts Monday.
``Right now, I just feel good,'' said Bonds, who was back in the starting lineup for the first time in four games after sitting to let his sore lower body recover. ``I feel rejuvenated a little bit. Maybe I'm going to take three more days off and come back.''
In other NL Games, it was San Diego 1, Philadelphia 0; Milwaukee 10, Arizona 1; Cincinnati 7, Florida 5; Atlanta 10, St. Louis 1; New York 13, the Los Angeles Dodgers 9; and Washington 5, Colorado 4 in 10 innings.
Bonds' second homer gave him six RBIs in the game, his most since driving in six runs Sept. 22 at Milwaukee. It was his seventh career game with at least six RBIs.
It also moved him past Carlton Fisk for most by a player in a year he turns at least 43. Fisk hit 18 at age 43 in 1990 and 18 more the following year at 44. Bonds needs two more homers not only to match Hammerin' Hank's record, but also to tie Fisk's 72 homers after turning 40.
Chicago could still celebrate afterward. The Cubs earned their 18th victory in the last 23 games and sixth in seven since the All-Star break, moving six games over .500 (50-44) for the first time since June 11, 2005, when they were 33-27.
Bonds, who turns 43 on Tuesday, hadn't homered since the first inning July 3 at Cincinnati and also ended a seven-game hitless stretch.
He was mired in 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.
``It's not too often you can keep him down,'' the Cubs' Cliff Floyd said. ``I knew sooner or later he was going to break out.''
Bonds even acknowledged that closing in on one of sports' most hallowed marks is becoming ``real'' to him - something he's reminded of every time they stop the game to put a commemorative ball in play.
``I had to get over them switching those baseballs. Any time that happens, I kind of go into a slide. It's tough because you actually really realize something's going on and you don't really want to think about it,'' Bonds said. ``But when they stop it for a second and switch baseballs, it's very hard to not know something's happening right in front of you.''
Padres 1, Phillies 0
At San Diego, Chris Young (9-3) gave up two hits in seven innings and Brian Giles' RBI double in the third provided all the offense.
Heath Bell worked the eighth before Trevor Hoffman finished the four-hitter for his 27th save in 29 chances. The Padres have thrown 14 shutouts, tops in the majors.
Young lowered his major-league leading ERA to 1.85 as he won his fifth straight decision, outpitching fellow All-Star Cole Hamels (11-5), who gave up two hits over seven innings.
Brewers 10, Diamondbacks 1
At Milwaukee, rookie Yovani Gallardo (2-1) pitched six shutout innings in place of injured Ben Sheets, and Tony Graffanino homered for Milwaukee.
Livan Hernandez (5-6) pitched 5 1-3 innings for Arizona, and was charged with six runs and eight hits. The Diamondbacks have lost eight of their last nine road games.
Reds 7, Marlins 5
At Miami, Ryan Freel hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning off Armando Benitez (2-5), and Cincinnati won its fourth straight game after trailing 3-0 and 5-3.
Todd Coffey (2-1) pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings, and David Weathers got three outs for his 19th save.
Braves 10, Cardinals 1
At Atlanta, Andruw Jones homered and drove in three runs to back seven strong innings by Tim Hudson (10-5), and the Braves ended a three-game losing streak.
Matt Diaz also homered off Mike Maroth (0-3), who gave up 10 runs and 11 hits in five innings.
Mets 13, Dodgers 9
At Los Angeles, Carlos Delgado and Ramon Castro hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning and Carlos Beltran added a solo shot in the eighth for New York, which led 6-0 after the top of the first.
Aaron Sele (3-0) allowed one run in three innings in relief of Tom Glavine, who was going for his 299th career win.
The Mets batted around against Derek Lowe (8-9) in the first, scoring six runs on six hits.
Nationals 5, Rockies 4, 10 innings
At Washington, D'Angelo Jimenez's first hit in 20 at-bats as a pinch hitter this season was a game-ending RBI single in the 10th inning off LaTroy Hawkins (1-5).
Jon Rauch (4-2) pitched a perfect 10th for the Nationals.