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San Francisco at Houston

W: J. Wright (4-3) L: W. Rodriguez (5-2)
HR: SF - P. Feliz (8)   HOU - M. Ensberg (13)

Bonds gets plunked, hits two singles in Giants' blowout victory

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

HOUSTON -- Nobody wants to surrender Barry Bonds' next home run, and Astros right-hander Russ Springer wasn't about to wind up on the wrong end of history Tuesday night.

Mystery of Springer hitting Bonds steals the show
by Scott Miller
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He wound up and plunked the San Francisco slugger instead.

Bonds went 2-for-4 and drove in a run for the second straight game in the Giants's 14-3 victory over Houston. Just when it looked like he had rediscovered his stroke, Springer couldn't find the plate.

And Bonds is still looking for home run No. 714.

The wild confrontation began when the seven-time NL MVP led off the fifth inning. Springer's first pitch sailed behind Bonds' back, drawing a warning from plate umpire Joe West.

The next four pitches all came inside, including one that hit Bonds' bat handle on the third delivery for strike one. On the fifth pitch, Springer hit Bonds in the right shoulder as he turned to protect himself.

That's when Springer and manager Phil Garner got ejected -- and the Houston crowd of 35,286 gave the pitcher a standing ovation.

"He missed with a slider and that's when the warning came," Garner said. "He just started missing his pitches. If you're going to try to hit somebody, you're not going to hit them with a slider."

Springer, who had allowed one homer to Bonds previously, could be fined or suspended.

"I played with Russ in St. Louis," Giants reliever Steve Kline said. "I had no idea he had anything for Barry. With the score the way it was, maybe they were mad he was still in the game. I don't know. It's baseball. Maybe one got away from him."

Bonds was unhurt and trotted down the first-base line and later scored on Jose Vizcaino's RBI single to give the Giants a 12-3 lead.

He also remained stalled at 713 homers -- one shy of tying Babe Ruth for second place on the career list -- for his eighth straight game. He gave way to defensive replacement Jason Ellison in the top of the sixth.

Springer also hit Bonds in September 2004, only four days after Bonds hit his 700th homer off Jake Peavy.

The pitcher was already gone when the Astros' clubhouse opened to the media and Garner said Springer was en route to Louisiana to be with his wife, who had surgery scheduled for Wednesday morning.

"I haven't had time to prepare a speech," Giants manager Felipe Alou said of Springer's pitch. "It's a lot of people watching, especially the at-bats of Barry's. All the people watching with an honest heart, they can say what they want to say. I'm not commenting."

The 41-year-old Bonds had already singled twice and driven in a run in San Francisco's five-run first. He flied out to the warning track in right in the second and to center to end the sixth.

Bonds has not homered in 26 at-bats since hitting 713 with a 450-foot shot in Philadelphia on May 7, going 4-for-26 during that stretch.

"It's just a matter of when he'll go back," Astros ace Andy Pettitte said. "If I was pitching against him, I wouldn't be that worried or upset if it happened to be me. I would try to pitch to him the way the game dictates."

Or just plain exhausted.

After playing for the eighth straight day, Bonds is scheduled to get his first day off Wednesday since sitting out a makeup game against the Astros on May 8 in San Francisco -- his longest stretch in the starting lineup without a break since playing 10 consecutive days from June 18-27, 2004. He could pinch hit Wednesday night, however.

The slugger played only 14 games in 2005 -- all in September -- following three operations on his troublesome right knee.

Pedro Feliz had a solo home run to start the seventh and added an RBI single for the Giants. Omar Vizquel drove in four runs, with a bases-clearing triple and sacrifice fly.

The Giants staked starter Jamey Wright (4-3) to a 5-0 lead in the first with five straight one-out hits against Wandy Rodriguez (5-2) as San Francisco batted around. San Francisco also jumped to a big lead early in its 10-1 victory Monday.

Wright pitched seven strong innings for his second straight win after a three-start losing streak.

Morgan Ensberg hit his 13th home run of the season with a two-run shot in the first for the Astros, sending a 3-2 pitch into the seats above the out-of-town scoreboard in left.

Bonds hit an RBI single just inside the line past first in the first inning, his second straight game driving in a run after getting an RBI double Monday to end an 0-for-15 funk.

After taking a called strike one in the second, Bonds flied out to right field, where Jason Lane made the catch a few feet in front of the fence. Bonds lined a 2-0 pitch to right for a single to start the fourth.

He had some fun before the game, joking around and laughing in the dugout before taking six rounds of batting practice, where he hit five homers on 24 swings, two into the upper deck.

Then Bonds kept moving spots in the dugout to see whether the horde of cameras following his every move would move as he picked a new place to sit. His relaxed mood seemed to carry over onto the field.

Back in the Bay Area in Oakland, where the Giants play a three-game interleague series starting Friday, the Athletics are already discussing their strategy for the slugger. Giants manager Felipe Alou has said he hopes Bonds can play designated hitter all three days.

"That would be interesting to watch," A's manager Ken Macha said before his team played the Seattle Mariners. "If we have a 10-2 lead and he hits a home run, that's OK with me.

"He's a good enough player it doesn't matter how much he's struggling. Good players are good players and good players rise to the occasion."


  • Astros SS Adam Everett committed his first error of the season, booting a routine grounder that allowed Durham to reach leading off the second.
  • Rodriguez, a left-hander making his first career start against the Giants, was done after 3 2/3 innings, a night after rookie Taylor Buchholz lasted only three innings.
  • San Francisco rookie RHP Matt Cain, who had his turn in the rotation skipped Monday, pitched in relief and is slated to start again Sunday in Oakland.
Copyright 2017 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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Manager Phil Garner argues with umpire Joe West after Russ Springer gets tossed.  (Getty Images)
Manager Phil Garner argues with umpire Joe West after Russ Springer gets tossed. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

M. Ensberg
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
San Francisco

J. Wright
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 3
BB 2
K 6

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San Francisco Giants
Randy Winn, RF3222300 .296
Omar Vizquel, SS5014015 .292
Ray Durham, 2B5110104 .202
Barry Bonds, LF4321001 .233
    Jason Ellison, LF1000010 .267
Pedro Feliz, 3B6332003 .278
Steve Finley, CF5220102 .308
Mike Matheny, C6232010 .266
Jose Vizcaino, 1B4122201 .178
Jamey Wright, P40000210 .190
   a- Daniel Ortmeier, PH1000000 .333
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a-grounded out for Wright in the 8th
2B - Steve Finley (3, Qualls), Jose Vizcaino (1, Rodriguez)
3B - Omar Vizquel (2, Springer)
HR - Pedro Feliz (8, Wheeler)
SF - Omar Vizquel (5)
RBI - Randy Winn 2 (17), Omar Vizquel 4 (17), Barry Bonds (14), Pedro Feliz 2 (29), Mike Matheny 2 (15), Jose Vizcaino 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Randy Winn 2 (6), Omar Vizquel 3 (6), Jose Vizcaino (1)
Team LOB - 12
DP - Vizquel-Durham-Vizcaino
San Francisco Giants
Jamey Wright (W,4-3) 7633261 4.23
Matt Cain 2000010 6.69
WP - Jamey Wright 2 (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Jamey Wright 107-67, Matt Cain 20-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jamey Wright 8-7, Matt Cain 2-3
Batters Faced - Jamey Wright 29, Matt Cain 6
Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, 2B3000101 .291
    Joe McEwing, 2B0000000 .000
Willy Taveras, CF4000011 .275
Mike Lamb, 1B4220000 .400
Morgan Ensberg, 3B3112100 .282
Preston Wilson, LF4010032 .259
Eric Munson, C4010012 .242
Jason Lane, RF3011012 .209
    Dan Wheeler, P0000000 .000
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
   a- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1000000 .172
Adam Everett, SS4000002 .236
Wandy Rodriguez, P1000000 .059
    Russ Springer, P-DH0000000 .000
    Mike Gallo, P1000010 .000
    Eric Bruntlett, RF1000000 .296
a-grounded out for Qualls in the 9th
HR - Morgan Ensberg (13, Wright)
RBI - Morgan Ensberg 2 (29), Jason Lane (17)
2-OUT RBI - Morgan Ensberg 2 (20), Jason Lane (4)
Team LOB - 5
E - Eric Bruntlett (2, ), Adam Everett (1, misplayed grounder), Willy Taveras (2, dropped fly)
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (L,5-2) 3.210116530 3.81
Russ Springer 0.1111000 3.46
Mike Gallo 2200100 5.25
Dan Wheeler 2111111 5.29
Chad Qualls 1211010 4.30
IBB - Winn by Wandy Rodriguez, by Vizcaino
HBP - Bonds (by Russ Springer)
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 89-50, Russ Springer 11-5, Mike Gallo 25-15, Dan Wheeler 28-18, Chad Qualls 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 3-7, Mike Gallo 2-4, Dan Wheeler 3-2, Chad Qualls 2-0
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 28, Russ Springer 3, Mike Gallo 9, Dan Wheeler 8, Chad Qualls 5
Game Information
Attendance - 35286
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Jim Wolf