STATS Senior Writer
Barry Bonds received his first two intentional walks this season in San Francisco's home opener, but the Giants are bracing for plenty more.
Bonds hopes to get more looks at the plate when the Giants continue their four-game series with the Atlanta Braves on Friday.
Bonds has been under increased scrutiny over steroids use since last month's release of "Game of Shadows," a book detailing his alleged longtime regimen for using performance-enhancing drugs. He was booed by fans in San Diego earlier in the week, but received a standing ovation in his first at-bat in Thursday's home opener, a 6-4 win over the Braves (2-2).
However, those cheers quickly turned to boos once Atlanta catcher Brian McCann called for an intentional walk. Bonds received another intentional pass in his second at-bat before striking out and grounding out for the Giants (2-1).
Moises Alou grounded into an inning-ending double play after the first walk, but singled in a run after the second.
"That's going to be very important," Alou said. "I didn't come through the first time. I was hoping to get another opportunity and I got a base hit to start the rally. ... We have to do that a lot this year to take the pressure off Barry."
Bonds, who saw just eight pitches to hit and 14 total, is 1-for-7 with three runs, three walks, no home runs and no RBIs. The 41-year-old slugger, who did not address the media after Thursday's game, remains stuck on 708 homers, six shy of Babe Ruth for second on the all-time list.
Manager Felipe Alou said he expects Bonds to be in the lineup Friday.
"The guys who are hitting behind Barry are going to be a little busy," San Francisco's Omar Vizquel said.
Giants starter Noah Lowry left in the second inning with a strained muscle in his lower back and was scheduled to be re-evaluated Friday. Lowry, the only member of San Francisco's rotation not to miss a start last year, had his start pushed back a day because of rain in San Diego, bumping rookie Matt Cain's season debut to Friday.
Cain, a former first-round draft pick, went 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA in seven starts as a late-season call-up last year. The 21-year-old right-hander, who has never faced Atlanta, was the youngest pitcher to make his first career start with the Giants in more than two decades.
"With time, we look to him to be a No. 1-type guy," Felipe Alou said. "If he's healthy, there's no question he's in the rotation."
Cain will face Atlanta's Kyle Davies, who also made a strong impression in his first year in the majors last season. Davies was called up to help an injury-plagued rotation and made 21 appearances, including 14 starts, as he went 7-6 with a 4.93 ERA. He did not face San Francisco.
The Braves' pitching staff has a 7.41 ERA through its first four games. Jorge Sosa homered during his start Thursday, but was pounded for six runs in 2 1-3 innings.
The Braves placed left-handed starter Horacio Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a strained left hamstring. Ramirez was injured in the third inning of Wednesday's 9-8 win in Los Angeles.
Atlanta purchased the contract of right-hander Kenny Ray from Triple-A Richmond. The first batter he faced was Bonds, and Ray struck him out.
The Braves also optioned right-hander Blaine Boyer to Richmond and recalled right-hander Joey Devine.