And if this was Bonds' farewell to Pittsburgh, he went out rather quietly. Quite the change for one of the most successful, and most talked-about, athletes in city history.
Bonds singled in three at-bats, making him 6-for-10 against his former club this season, but 14-game loser Paul Maholm became the second Pirates left-hander to dominate the Giants in as many days as Pittsburgh beat San Francisco 3-1 on Monday in the first game of a makeup doubleheader. The game lasted only 1 hour, 51 minutes.
Bonds, usually booed in Pittsburgh because of his playoff failures with the Pirates from 1990-92, received a brief standing ovation as he took the field in the bottom of the first. It was easily the warmest ovation that baseball's new home run king has received in the city where he played from 1986-92.
He received a longer, louder ovation between games, following a brief video salute that included footage of his first career home run for the Pirates in 1986 and his record-setting No. 756 last week in San Francisco. Bonds came out of the Giants' dugout to acknowledge the cheers, tipping his cap, pointing to several sections of PNC Park and thumping his chest in tribute. He also bowed and pumped his fist once.
"I have good memories, some good times here," Bonds said.
Or maybe the fans were cheering the last-place Pirates' newfound ability to dominate an opponent. They have beaten the Giants four times in as many days, counting a three-game sweep in the Bay Area over the weekend. Tom Gorzelanny pitched a shutout Sunday as the Pirates finished the sweep by winning 5-0.
"I watched a tape of his game this morning and I tried to follow a lot of the things he did," Maholm said of his three-hit complete game. "My stuff was probably as good as it's been in the big leagues. I could throw just about any pitch I wanted for a strike."
If Bonds plays next season in the AL -- he is unsigned past this year -- this doubleheader could be his final appearance in Pittsburgh. He wasn't in the lineup for Game 2.
"He got a really nice hand, and I'm glad," Maholm said. "He deserved it. He's had a great career and it all started here for him. It was a great thrill just pitching to him because I grew up watching him just like everybody else. It was kind of cool to get him out a couple of times."
There were cheers for each of Bonds' plate appearances -- and, again, after two of them. He grounded out to first base in the second and struck out looking in the fourth before lining a single into right field in the seventh, all against Maholm.
Maholm (8-14), who would have become the majors' leader in losses if he had lost, was in trouble only in the second when Daniel Ortmeier doubled and scored on former Pirates outfielder Rajai Davis' two-out double.
By then, the Pirates led 3-0 following Jose Castillo's two-run double in the first and Nate McLouth's RBI double on the second, which scored Maholm after the pitcher helped himself with a leadoff double off Matt Cain (4-13).
The Giants lost their fifth in a row.
Bonds saved a possible news-making announcement for Pittsburgh, a day after ending the home stand in which he broke Hank Aaron's career home run record. Bonds finished the weeklong homestand with 758 homers, three more than Aaron hit.
Before Monday's games, he said he doesn't expect to play beyond next season -- previously, he said he planned on playing in 2008 and beyond. He also said he doesn't want to leave the Giants even though they are expected to go on a youth movement after this season.
"(Playing) after next year? I don't know. I don't think so," Bonds said. "I don't think so. I don't think two years I can make."
Maholm struck out four and walked none, needing only 91 pitches -- 61 for strikes.
- Pirates RF Ryan Doumit was lifted because of a sprained left wrist in the sixth. He was replaced by Castillo, who played RF for the first time in his career and was immediately called on to catch two fly balls in the seventh.
- Maholm's only other complete game this season was an April 24 shutout against Houston.
- The game was four minutes longer than the shortest game of the season. The Seattle Mariners beat the Athletics in Oakland 2-0 on April 25 in 1 hour, 47 minutes, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
- After the game, Pirates SS Jack Wilson was credited with an infield single in the fourth. SS Kevin Frandsen was originally given an error.