|San Francisco «||5||0||1||3||0||0||0||0||x||9||11||1|
SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds has displayed impeccable timing at the plate throughout his decorated career.
Now, everything is lined up just right for him to tie Babe Ruth: The rival Los Angeles Dodgers are coming to town the same day the Giants will throw a belated 75th birthday bash for his godfather, Willie Mays.
The slugger will resume his pursuit Friday night against the Dodgers and Brad Penny, who has allowed three homers to Bonds.
Bonds didn't talk to reporters afterward, standing in the hallway holding a baby girl before leaving the ballpark.
"I like that, getting out early," he said, laughing.
Bonds' homerless stretch reached three games and the banners to honor him were still rolled up and waiting to be unfurled from two light towers in center field on each side of the main scoreboard.
But Bonds still contributed plenty by getting on base. He was intentionally walked in a five-run first inning and drew another free pass ahead of Steve Finley's bases-loaded triple in the fourth as the Giants gave Jamey Wright (3-3) more than enough support.
"It's nice to go out there and score five runs," Wright said. "It takes the pressure off and I can just pound the strike zone."
San Francisco scored six runs following Bonds' walks.
Pedro Feliz, Mike Matheny and Kevin Frandsen also drove in runs in the first inning to stake Wright to a big lead, and the right-hander allowed two runs in 7 1/3 innings to snap a three-start losing streak. He left to a loud standing ovation.
Bonds' former skipper Dusty Baker -- both arrived in San Francisco in 1993 and spent 10 seasons together -- didn't get to witness the milestone homer this time. Baker, the Cubs' manager, was there as Hank Aaron's Atlanta Braves teammate when Aaron tied and passed Ruth in April 1974.
"He'll probably hit it against the Dodgers," Baker said. "We pitched him pretty tough but others hurt us behind him."
On Friday, the Giants will hold a pregame celebration for Mays six days after he turned 75. It's also the 71st birthday of San Francisco manager Felipe Alou.
"Barry knows he's going to do that, he knows it's going to happen," Alou said.
Bonds gave everybody a scare in the sixth. He chased Todd Walker's foul ball to left and couldn't stop on his surgically repaired right knee, falling face first over the short padded wall down the left-field line. He stayed in the game but failed to catch Freddie Bynum's RBI triple that scored Chicago's first run in the eighth.
"Barry's a good athlete," Alou said. "He very seldom gets hurt. He's been having problems with that knee for years. You don't see Barry leaving the game because he's hurt."
Bonds drew his 15th intentional walk of the season in the first following Lance Niekro's two-run double, then grounded out to first on the second pitch of his second-inning at-bat.
In the fourth, he came to the plate with a runner on second and two outs, often a situation calling for an intentional walk. The Cubs decided against it, and the fans cheered when catcher Michael Barrett dropped into his crouch. But after throwing a first-pitch curveball for a called strike, Cubs starter Sean Marshall didn't come anywhere close to the plate and issued Bonds' second walk of the game.
Two batters later, Finley hit a bases-loaded triple for his seventh of the year.
"It's an electric atmosphere," Finley said. "I don't think he's pressing. His swing is good. It's where he wants it to be. It's not that easy to hit homers, but sometimes he makes it look easy. ... Hopefully the next three days he'll get two."
Bonds lined out to right in the sixth and flied out to center in the eighth with the fans on their feet and chanting "Barry! Barry!" Jason Ellison replaced him in left field for the ninth.
Bonds said earlier this week he planned to play in every game through the homestand, which would include Saturday's day game after a night game -- not typically his practice in previous seasons.
The 41-year-old Bonds hit 713 with a 450-foot shot Sunday night at Philadelphia.
Frandsen, sent down to Triple-A Fresno after the game so the Giants have room to activate second baseman Ray Durham from the disabled list Friday, also singled in a run in the third.
Marshall (2-1) won his first two decisions of the season but is winless in his past three outings after lasting only 3 2/3 innings. The lefty allowed nine runs and nine hits, walked five and struck out two -- and the Cubs had the bullpen up before he even retired a batter. San Francisco's first eight batters reached.
Neifi Perez's groundout drove in another run for the Cubs, who ended their season-worst eight-game losing streak with Wednesday night's 8-1 win but still only managed one victory on their nine-game road trip out West.
|Homerless Barry Bonds flips over the wall into the stands, chasing a foul ball in the sixth inning. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Ronny Cedeno, SS||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.300|
|Juan Pierre, CF||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.232|
|Todd Walker, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.294|
|Aramis Ramirez, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.217|
|John Mabry, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.220|
|Michael Barrett, C||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||.292|
|Jacque Jones, RF||2||0||0||0||0||1||3||.263|
|Matt Murton, LF||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||.278|
|a-Jerry Hairston Jr., PH-LF||2||1||2||0||0||0||0||.259|
|Sean Marshall, SP||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.143|
|Freddie Bynum, RF||3||1||1||1||0||1||2||.188|
|Henry Blanco, PH-C||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||.071|
|Neifi Perez, SS||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||.185|
|Ryan Theriot, 2B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Will Ohman, P||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||1.000|
|a-Doubled for M Murton in the 8th.|
|2B - J Hairston (2)|
|3B - F Bynum (2)|
|RBI - F Bynum (2); H Blanco (2); N Perez (4)|
|SF - H Blanco (1)|
|Sean Marshall (L,2-1)||3.2||9||9||9||5||2||0||4.93|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Randy Winn, RF||3||2||1||0||2||1||2||.293|
|Omar Vizquel, SS||4||1||1||0||1||0||2||.316|
|Lance Niekro, 1B||5||1||2||2||0||2||2||.229|
|Barry Bonds, LF||3||2||0||0||2||0||1||.240|
|Pedro Feliz, 3B||4||3||3||1||0||1||1||.250|
|Steve Finley, CF||3||0||2||3||1||0||1||.325|
|Mike Matheny, C||4||0||1||1||0||0||4||.243|
|Kevin Frandsen, 2B||4||0||1||2||0||0||2||.250|
|Jamey Wright, SP||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.235|
|2B - L Niekro (2)|
|3B - S Finley (7)|
|RBI - L Niekro 2 (16); P Feliz (21); S Finley 3 (15); M Matheny (10); K Frandsen 2 (2)|
|S - J Wright (2)|
|E - P Feliz (3)|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Jamey Wright (W,3-3)||7.1||5||2||2||2||4||0||4.28|