Barry Bonds wants to wait a while before he starts thinking about Hank Aaron’s record. In the meantime, everyone else can do it for him.
Bonds moved a step closer to Aaron’s home run mark Wednesday night, hitting his 735th homer in the first inning of the San Francisco Giants’ 5-3 loss to the San Diego Padres.
“It’s not a countdown yet, not close enough yet,” Bonds said. “When it’s about 750, that’s when we can count down. Not any time soon. Hope it’s not the end of September. You can all leave and come back then.”
Bonds sent a 2-2 pitch from right-hander Chris Young into the first row of seats in left-center for a solo shot and a 1-0 lead, pulling the slugger within 21 of passing Aaron’s 755. He also became the San Francisco leader for runs scored at 1,481, passing his godfather, Willie Mays’ 1,480.
“Fastball away, just on the plate, but Barry is Barry,” Padres manager Bud Black said.
The New York Mets appear just as dominant as they did last season, when they finished with the National League’s best record. John Maine kept the St. Louis Cardinals’ bats quiet and Carlos Beltran homered twice and drove in four runs in a 10-0 victory, helping the Mets sweep the World Series champions.
“It’s always great when you start the season the way we started, winning three against the world champions,” Beltran said. “Now we just need to continue to play the game we played here.”
The Pittsburgh Pirates would like to do the same, improving to 3-0 for the first time since 2003 after a 5-4 win at Houston – their first three-game sweep there since 1991.
Last season, the Pirates’ 14th straight with a losing record, lost 18 of their first 23 games.
“It’s definitely only three games, but for us having the year that we had last year and losing all those games in the first half, I think this was a big step,” Jose Bautista said.
In other NL games, it was: Atlanta 3, Philadelphia 2 in 11 innings; Washington 7, Florida 6; Colorado 11, Arizona 4; Chicago 4, Cincinnati 1; and Los Angeles 5, Milwaukee 4.
At San Francisco, Adrian Gonzalez hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth off Brad Hennessey (0-1). Marcus Giles hit a two-run homer in the fifth, and Khalil Greene added a solo shot in the inning for San Diego.
Cla Meredith (1-0) picked up the win, and Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his first save, and the 483rd overall for baseball’s career leader.
Young became the 435th pitcher to surrender a homer to Bonds, who has hit 86 against the Padres for his most against any club. Bonds’ previous homer came 193 days earlier, on Sept. 23, 2006, against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Mets 10, Cardinals 0
At St. Louis, Jose Reyes also homered and had three RBIs for the Mets, who were 8-1 to start last season en route to an NL-high 97 wins before they were eliminated by the Cardinals in the NLCS.
Braden Looper (0-1) made his first major league start after 572 relief appearances. Looper, who saved 57 games for the Mets in 2004 and ’05, didn’t allow a runner in scoring position until the sixth when Beltran hit a two-run homer.
The Cardinals started 0-3 for the first time since 2001. The last time St. Louis lost three straight at home to start the season was in 1969.
Pirates 5, Astros 4
At Houston, Bautista drove in three runs to help Pittsburgh erase a two-run deficit and rally for a win.
Tom Gorzelanny (1-0) allowed seven hits and three runs with four strikeouts in five innings, and Salomon Torres earned his third save in as many nights.
Woody Williams (0-1) allowed eight hits and five runs, three earned, and hit two batters in 4 2-3 innings.
Braves 3, Phillies 2, 11 innings
Scott Thorman’s solo homer in the 11th led visiting Atlanta past Philadelphia.
Brian McCann’s two-run homer off closer Tom Gordon tied it at 2 in the ninth. Thorman then connected against Ryan Madson (0-2) with one out in the 11th.
Macay McBride (1-0) threw one pitch, retiring Ryan Howard on a grounder to second to leave the winning run at third in the 10th. Bob Wickman pitched a scoreless 11th for the save.
Nationals 7, Marlins 6
Dmitri Young hit a bases-loaded single with one out in the bottom of the ninth to complete Washington’s comeback from a five-run deficit.
Robert Fick delivered an RBI single earlier in a three-run ninth off Jorge Julio (0-1).
Jon Rauch (1-0) struck out the only two batters he faced in the top half.
Rockies 11, Diamondbacks 4
At Denver, Rodrigo Lopez (1-0) gave up two runs – one earned – and six hits in seven innings for his first win since last Aug. 17, and Matt Holliday backed him with four hits and four RBIs.
Doug Davis (0-1) made his Arizona debut and allowed three first-inning unearned runs.
Cubs 4, Reds 1
Ted Lilly pitched seven impressive innings in his Cubs debut, leading Chicago to a victory at Cincinnati. Lilly (1-0) allowed only three singles and struck out nine on a blustery night.
Mark DeRosa broke the game open with a bases-loaded single in the eighth off reliever Todd Coffey. Aramis Ramirez also had three singles off loser Bronson Arroyo (0-1).
Dodgers 5, Brewers 4
Jason Schmidt pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth and the bullpen held on as Los Angeles avoided being swept at Milwaukee.
Schmidt (1-0) walked the bases loaded – all on 3-2 counts with two outs – beginning with Brewers starter Jeff Suppan (0-1), but got Prince Fielder to hit a towering popup to end the inning. Takashi Saito got five outs for the save.
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