Giants increase lead in wild-card race

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Not in the city where Aaron played, he won't.

But get ready, kayakers: Barry Bonds will get the chance to hit

another historic homer at home.

The San Francisco slugger remained one shot shy of joining Babe

Ruth and Hank Aaron in the 700-homer club Thursday, but did go

3-for-3 with a walk in the Giants' 4-0 victory over the Milwaukee


"I still have a lot of baseball left," Bonds said. "It will

come eventually."

And chances are it will come at SBC Park, where the Giants begin

a nine-game homestand Friday night against the San Diego Padres,

his favorite longball victims.

He has 78 homers off the Padres, more than any other opponent,

including two off right-hander Jake Peavy, whom he'll face first.

Bonds' three line-drive hits Thursday backed rookie Brad

Hennessey (2-2), who allowed two hits over seven spectacular

innings as the Giants remained a half-game ahead of the Chicago

Cubs in the NL wild-card race.

Bonds certainly got his chance to reach the milestone in

Milwaukee, where Aaron started and ended his career on the way to a

record 755 home runs.

Bonds took 21 swings in the three-game sweep during the Giants'

only trip to Miller Park this season, going 3-for-9 with four walks

-- one intentional. He hit an RBI double and two singles in the

final game.

"They pitched to him," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "He

hit the ball hard, but they kept the ball down. He can do it at

home now."

Bonds has long saved his most historic homers for home, where

they often splash into McCovey Cove in San Francisco Bay.

He hit career homer No. 660 -- to tie godfather Willie Mays -- and

No. 661 at home off the Brewers earlier this season. He also hit

his 500th in San Francisco in 2001, and later that season broke

Mark McGwire's season record by hitting Nos. 71-73 at home the

final weekend of the season.

After hitting his 699th homer Sunday in Arizona, Bonds was

challenged by the Brewers, who didn't groove many pitches. He saw

56 pitches in Milwaukee, 23 of them strikes, including two called.

"I swung at more pitches. I took more chances," Bonds said.

"Today it was hits, hits, hits and that's it."

Bonds called it a successful series despite not homering.

"That's all that matters," Bonds said after the Giants won

their fifth straight. "That's the key. We've got to keep winning.

We're not playing for 700 home runs. We're playing to win."

Milwaukee manager Ned Yost took no measure of satisfaction in

keeping Bonds from hitting his historic homer at Miller Park.

"I'm proud that the pitchers kind of stared down the throat of

the lion, so to speak, and didn't blink. But we didn't accomplish

what we wanted to do and that's win some ballgames," Yost said.

"It was fun matching up against him, it was. But to lose the

ballgame takes a lot of the fun out of it."

Bonds isn't having much fun.

"It's no different than 73 home runs in 2001, the same thing,"

Bonds said. "I'm uncomfortable with it, period. That's not why I

play baseball, for all these lights and cameras. I just want to

play the game and go home and enjoy my family."

The Giants, who have won nine of 11, did get two homers Thursday

as Marquis Grissom and Pedro Feliz each hit their 20th, but Bonds

didn't go deep much to the chagrin of the crowd of 17,574 -- higher

than usual for a day game in Milwaukee with school back in session.

Bonds had his best chance in the first, when he lined an 85 mph

slider over the middle of the plate to right field for an RBI

double off Victor Santos (10-11), and J.T. Snow followed with a

sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead.

After Grissom hit a solo homer in the second, Bonds walked on

four pitches in the third inning following Feliz's solo homer that

made it 4-0.

Bonds lined a 2-1 pitch from right-hander Matt Wise into right

field for a single in the fifth that glanced off the glove of

leaping second baseman Bill Hall, who was shifted into shallow


In his last at-bat in the eighth, Bonds lined a 2-1 pitch from

right-hander Mike Adams to left for his second single, then was

replaced by pinch-runner Jason Ellison as fans applauded before

heading to the exits.

Hennessey walked three and struck out four. The only hits he

allowed were singles to Brady Clark in the second and fourth. Scott

Eyre and Jim Brower combined to hold the Brewers to one hit in the

last two innings.Game notes
The Giants clinched their eighth straight winning season.

... The Brewers turned a crazy 5-2-9-4-9-1-6 double play to end the

ninth. The Giants put runners on second and third off rookie Ben

Ford, but Deivi Cruz grounded to third base, starting the play that

involved three different rundowns. "You won't see that play

because there's not as many right fielders that hustle like Brady

Clark does," Yost said.