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Toronto (30-33)300000000371
San Francisco (29-34) «10030000x460

Bonds hits No. 747 to help Giants defeat Blue Jays

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds sat playfully with Frank Thomas on the field before the game and promised Matt Morris he would hit a home run for the pitcher.

Bonds made good on his word, too, ending his latest home run drought and showing he might be finding his stroke again.

Bonds hit his 747th homer and moved within eight of Hank Aaron's career record with a two-run shot during the Giants' 4-3 win over Toronto on Monday night, only the second home run since May 8 for the slugger and his first this month.

Morris (7-3) recovered from a shaky start and pitched a seven-hitter for his 23rd career complete game and third this season.

"Great pitching performance, that's it, and we finally came through on offense," said Bonds, who lately has said he doesn't want to talk about his personal accomplishments and would rather focus on the team. "Hopefully, that's some momentum we need to start going forward."

And then he was off, headed home with his bat-boy son, Nikolai.

The 42-year-old Bonds sent an 0-1 pitch an estimated 438 feet into the seats in right-center for his 13th homer of the year and first against Blue Jays right-hander Josh Towers (2-4), who became the 440th pitcher to allow a homer to Bonds.

The Giants unveiled a new countdown on the main center-field scoreboard featuring a road sign with "Bonds 747" in the middle and "Road to History" on either side.

"He tied that game for us. That was huge," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We needed a shot in the arm and he gave it to us. ... His legs have bothered him. He's responded well to everything thrown at him."

Bonds hugged and kissed Nikolai when he crossed the plate. Fans jumped to their feet, chanting "Barry! Barry!" as he walked to left field and tipped his cap before the top of the fifth. Bye, Bye, Baby -- the Giants' theme song back when Bonds' godfather, Willie Mays, was on his way to 660 homers -- blared from the sound system.

After popping up foul to end the first, Bonds got around on a slider that Towers left up, tying the score at 3 in the fourth inning. Omar Vizquel drove in the go-ahead run four batters later.

"Every pitch seemed to be up," Towers said. "Everything was high and up, and that's when you get in trouble. Elevation is a sign of fatigue."

Bonds had not homered in 33 at-bats since connecting for No. 746 on May 27 against Colorado's Taylor Buchholz. Bonds missed two games at Arizona last week with shin splints.

He had hit only one home run in 77 at-bats and 108 plate appearances since a shot off the Mets' Tom Glavine on May 8.

In Bonds' previous 36 games from April 29 to June 10, he had only four homers after hitting 10 by May 5. It was just his sixth RBI since May 9.

"You know it's just a matter of time," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He's going to get it against somebody."

The Giants ended a 21-inning scoreless stretch on Ryan Klesko's RBI groundout in the first, then Klesko led off the fourth with a single before Bonds homered. Toronto reliever Brian Tallet walked Bonds intentionally to start the sixth, Bonds' 22nd intentional free pass and the second he's drawn this year with nobody on base. Boos rained down from all directions.

Bonds grounded into a double play to end the eighth. His home run provided a much-needed lift for the Giants, who ended a six-game home losing streak. They lost three straight last weekend to Oakland and all three games to Colorado from May 25-27.

"Whenever people count that big man out, he always responds," teammate Dave Roberts said. "He felt good tonight. Take that for what it's worth, but I took it as he was going to do something special."

Morris struck out four and walked one, allowing three runs in the first inning before settling down. He has the fourth-lowest ERA in the NL at 2.56.

Aaron Hill hit a two-run double for Toronto and Adam Lind added an RBI single.

Thomas made his first return to the Bay Area since leaving Oakland after the Big Hurt led the Athletics in home runs last season on their way to the AL championship series. Thomas flied out to Bonds deep in left as a pinch-hitter in the seventh.

The Blue Jays are 1-6 against the Giants, including 0-4 in San Francisco. The clubs hadn't met since 2004, when Toronto got swept in the Bay Area.

Roberts stole two bases, providing the energy at the top of the order the Giants missed when he was sidelined from May 10 to June 9 while recovering from elbow surgery. He also crashed into the wall in left-center to make a terrific catch on Hill's drive in the ninth.

Roberts stayed down for a moment and grimaced in pain before going back to his position. He had a big ice bag on his right shoulder afterward and a sore back, but planned to play Tuesday night.

"Matty has pitched so well all year long that I didn't want to come up short," Roberts said.

Notes

  • Bonds' last five homers have come at home and nine of his 13 in all.
  • Bonds is likely to get the day off for Wednesday afternoon's series finale following a night game Tuesday.
  • Towers struck out five and walked one in four innings, allowing five hits and four runs -- three earned.
 
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 finds his groove with HR No. 747 and is 9 back from breaking Aaron's record.  (US Presswire)
Barry Bonds finds his groove with HR No. 747 and is 9 back from breaking Aaron's record. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

M. Morris
IP 9.0
H 7
ER 3
BB 1
K 4
San Francisco

B. Bonds
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Toronto Blue Jays
Alex Rios, RF4110001 .289
Matt Stairs, 1B3110111 .286
Vernon Wells, CF4000001 .250
Troy Glaus, 3B4010013 .292
Aaron Hill, 2B4112011 .276
Adam Lind, LF4021010 .237
Jason Phillips, C3000002 .220
John McDonald, SS2000000 .294
   a- Frank Thomas, PH1000001 .227
    Royce Clayton, SS0000000 .244
Josh Towers, P1000000 .000
   b- Curtis Thigpen, PH1010000 .500
    Brian Tallet, P0000000 .000
   c- Howie Clark, PH1000001 .250
    Scott Downs, P0000000 .000
Totals3237314  
a-flied out for McDonald in the 7th
b-singled for Towers in the 5th
c-flied out for Tallet in the 7th
Batting
2B - Alex Rios (16, Morris), Aaron Hill (18, Morris), Adam Lind (9, Morris)
RBI - Aaron Hill 2 (37), Adam Lind (23)
2-OUT RBI - Aaron Hill 2 (19), Adam Lind (10)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Hill-Clayton-Stairs
E - Jason Phillips (3, Throwing)
Toronto Blue Jays
Josh Towers (L,2-4) 4543151 5.31
Brian Tallet 2000110 1.67
Scott Downs 2100010 3.16
IBB - Bonds by Brian Tallet
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Towers 65-46, Brian Tallet 29-16, Scott Downs 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Towers 2-5, Brian Tallet 2-3, Scott Downs 3-1
Batters Faced - Josh Towers 18, Brian Tallet 7, Scott Downs 6
San Francisco Giants
Dave Roberts, CF3110120 .212
Randy Winn, RF-LF4010022 .309
Ryan Klesko, 1B4111001 .309
Barry Bonds, LF3112101 .277
    Nate Schierholtz, RF0000000 .000
Ray Durham, 2B3110001 .255
Bengie Molina, C3010001 .309
Pedro Feliz, 3B3000013 .256
Omar Vizquel, SS2001010 .235
Matt Morris, P3000011 .222
Totals2846427  
Batting
2B - Ray Durham (10, Towers)
HR - Barry Bonds (13, Towers)
SH - Omar Vizquel (8)
RBI - Ryan Klesko (18), Barry Bonds 2 (30), Omar Vizquel (18)
SB - Dave Roberts 2 (9, 3rd base off Towers/Phillips, 2nd base off Towers/Phillips)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Vizquel-Durham-Klesko, Vizquel-Durham-Klesko
San Francisco Giants
Matt Morris (W,7-3) 9733140 2.56
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Morris 110-76
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Morris 11-10
Batters Faced - Matt Morris 33
Game Information
Attendance - 38030
Game Time - 2:12
Temperature - 58
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Tim Welke