San Francisco at Washington

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San Francisco «2001101005110
Washington010000000150

Bonds homers for fourth game in a row as Giants top Nats

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- The pitch to Barry Bonds was right where John Patterson wanted it, a cut fastball that dipped inside, meant to be a ball that might serve to push the San Francisco Giants slugger a tad off the plate.

And then, in a blink, Bonds whipped his bat, driving the ball over the right-field wall. The two-run shot, his 707th career homer and fourth in four games, came in the first inning Wednesday night and started the Giants on their way to a 5-1 victory over the Washington Nationals.

"I don't know how he hit it. We were all talking about it after we came into the dugout," Patterson said. "It's like fighting Ali. You make one little mistake, and he makes you pay. You realize, at some point, Barry's going to get you."

And with Bonds back in the lineup after missing the season's first 142 games, the Giants have won five straight games to cling to an outside chance of catching the NL West-leading San Diego Padres. San Diego beat Colorado 5-2 to keep its five-game lead.

"He can change the game," said Giants starter Brad Hennessey (5-8), who won for the first time in 10 outings. "We've got a shot still, I think."

The right-hander gave up one run and three hits over 7 2/3 innings, striking out four, and at one point retired 15 consecutive batters, looking little like a pitcher who was 0-5 with a 5.55 ERA since July 28.

He also doubled and homered, lining a solo shot to left on the first pitch of the seventh inning.

"He's a tough kid," manager Felipe Alou said. "We're staying with him."

After Scott Eyre relieved Hennessey to finish the eighth, then put two runners on in the ninth, Armando Benitez struck out the last two batters for his 18th save.

The Nationals lost their fourth in a row, and manager Frank Robinson spoke before the game of wanting to avoid a last-place finish. Coupled with Houston's 12-8 win over Pittsburgh, Washington's loss dropped it six games behind the Astros in the NL wild-card standings with 10 games left.

"It would take a miracle at this point," said Patterson (9-6), who allowed five runs and 10 hits in seven innings. He had nine strikeouts, including Bonds twice.

So looking ahead to Thursday, the one bit of good news for the Nationals? Bonds won't start because it's an afternoon game.

"He was really tired," said Alou, who removed Bonds after he was intentionally walked in the seventh. "I won't change my mind. He's really sore."

San Francisco's surge has coincided with last week's return of Bonds, who had three offseason knee operations. The team is 6-1 in his starts, and Bonds is hitting .318 (7-for-22) with four homers and six RBI.

"Barry came back and really makes this whole team a lot better," Giants outfielder Moises Alou said. "It's a whole different game."

There were fewer boos and disparaging signs directed Bonds' way Wednesday than Tuesday, his first road game of the year. But he still heard plenty of jeers, including when he caught Brad Wilkerson's shallow fly leading off the bottom of the first.

Bonds, who left the stadium by the time the visiting clubhouse opened after the game, moved within seven homers of tying Babe Ruth for second on the career list behind Hank Aaron's 755.

Can Bonds reach Ruth's total of 714 this year, even though San Francisco has only 11 games left -- and he won't start all of them?

"It's not a task beyond his reach," said Robinson, sixth in history with 586 homers. "He is capable of doing that."

Notes

  • Washington C Brian Schneider left after the sixth inning because he was hit on the right shoulder by a foul ball off Pedro Feliz's bat. Tendinitis in that shoulder sidelined Schneider for the team's last road trip.
  • Nationals CF Preston Wilson had an adventurous game, most glaringly when he did a pratfall in the fourth, dropping to the grass when he lost his footing while picking up a ball hit by Moises Alou, who was credited with a double.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Barry Bonds is eight homers away from sole possession of second place on the career list.  (AP)
Barry Bonds is eight homers away from sole possession of second place on the career list. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

B. Bonds
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
San Francisco

R. Winn
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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San Francisco Giants
Randy Winn, CF5021010 .295
Omar Vizquel, SS5130001 .274
Pedro Feliz, 3B5010045 .257
Barry Bonds, LF3112123 .318
    Todd Linden, PR-LF0000000 .219
Moises Alou, RF4110002 .316
    Jason Ellison, RF0000000 .272
Ray Durham, 2B4000011 .292
Lance Niekro, 1B3011110 .257
Mike Matheny, C4000022 .243
Brad Hennessey, P3221010 .229
    Scott Eyre, P1000010 .000
    Armando Benitez, P0000000 .000
Totals37511521314 
Batting
2B - Moises Alou (17, Patterson), Brad Hennessey (1, Patterson)
3B - Pedro Feliz (3, Patterson)
HR - Barry Bonds (4, Patterson), Brad Hennessey (2, Patterson)
RBI - Randy Winn (57), Barry Bonds 2 (6), Lance Niekro (44), Brad Hennessey (5)
2-OUT RBI - Barry Bonds 2 (4)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Feliz-Durham-Niekro
San Francisco Giants
Brad Hennessey (W,5-8) 7.2311240 4.96
Scott Eyre 0.2200020 2.80
Armando Benitez (S,18) 0.2000020 4.67
HBP - Patterson (by Brad Hennessey)
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Hennessey 99-60, Scott Eyre 19-15, Armando Benitez 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Hennessey 9-9
Batters Faced - Brad Hennessey 28, Scott Eyre 4, Armando Benitez 2
Washington Nationals
Brad Wilkerson, LF3000112 .250
Jose Vidro, 2B4010011 .272
    Rick Short, 2B0000000 .400
Nick Johnson, 1B3010111 .290
Jose Guillen, RF4000023 .286
Preston Wilson, CF4010000 .260
Vinny Castilla, 3B3110000 .254
    Jason Bergmann, P0000000 .333
   a- Marlon Byrd, PH1000012 .261
Brian Schneider, C2000001 .268
    Gary Bennett, C1000010 .218
   b- Ryan Church, PH1000012 .292
Cristian Guzman, SS3011000 .211
John Patterson, P1000000 .109
    Ryan Zimmerman, 3B1000000 .353
Totals311512812 
a-struck out for Bergmann in the 9th
b-struck out for Bennett in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jose Vidro (21, Hennessey), Vinny Castilla (36, Hennessey)
RBI - Cristian Guzman (27)
2-OUT RBI - Cristian Guzman (10)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Castilla-Vidro-N. Johnson
Washington Nationals
John Patterson (L,9-6) 71055292 2.80
Jason Bergmann 2100040 3.00
IBB - Bonds by John Patterson
Pitches-Strikes - John Patterson 115-77, Jason Bergmann 27-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Patterson 5-6, Jason Bergmann 1-1
Batters Faced - John Patterson 32, Jason Bergmann 7
Game Information
Attendance - 32076
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Brian O'Nora, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom