Bonds connects for 735th home run, but Giants fall

Figure this: With his solo shot to left, Bonds became the Giants leader for runs scored at 1,481, passing his godfather, Willie Mays' 1,480. Bonds tipped his cap to the cheers when he took the field in the inning's top half.

Web Gem-worthy: Bonds' running catch toward the foul line took away an easy double from Giles in the third inning that effectively stole a Padres run.

Quotable: "It's not a countdown yet, not close enough yet. When it's about 750, that's when we can count down." -- Barry Bonds.

-- ESPN.com news services

Padres 5, Giants 3

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Barry Bonds took a seat in the dugout after
his first home run trot of 2007 and hardly looked winded.

His legs feel great, he's completely healthy -- and ready to
chase Hammerin' Hank.

Bonds moved a step closer to Hank Aaron's home run record
Wednesday night, hitting his 735th homer in the first inning of the
San Francisco Giants' 5-3 loss to the San Diego Padres, who got a
tiebreaking two-run homer from Adrian Gonzalez in the eighth.

Bonds sent a 2-2 pitch from right-hander Chris Young into the
first row of seats in left-center for a solo shot and a 1-0 Giants
lead, pulling the slugger within 21 of passing Aaron's 755.

San Diego's Chris Young (right) didn't get the win, but he is still 9-0 with 16 no-decisions in his last 25 road starts (3-0 in his last nine with Texas in 2005 and 6-0 in 16 road starts with San Diego in 2006). The most consecutive road starts without losing:

Allie Reynolds



Chris Young



Russ Meyer



Greg Maddux



*Young's teams are 17-8 in those 25 games (Texas 5-4, San Diego 12-4)

"It's not a countdown yet, not close enough yet," Bonds said.
"When it's about 750, that's when we can count down. Not any time
soon. Hope it's not the end of September. You can all leave and
come back then."

Moments after the homer, "735" flashed across the new
high-definition scoreboard in center field and Bonds pointed to his
daughter, Aisha, and Sue Burns, the wife of late Giants ownership
partner Harmon Burns who was honored on opening day with a moment
of silence.

Bonds also became the San Francisco leader for runs scored at
1,481, passing his godfather, Willie Mays' 1,480. Bonds waved and
tipped his cap when he came out to play defense in the top of the

Then in the third, he made a running catch with his glove
outstretched on Brian Giles' shallow fly along the left-field line,
and Bonds' momentum carried him all the way to the entrance in
front of the San Francisco dugout. The 42-year-old slugger
immediately dropped into a squat to catch his breath, then headed
down the tunnel to recover from some tightness.

"That's not that encouraging," he said of the athletic snag.
"I don't want to do anything dumb. If there was another one, it
would have dropped. I got a good jump. ... My legs are fine. It's
my age that's bothering me. Just a long run for somebody my age. I
got a little tight out there. That was it. Nothing major."

Bonds grounded out to second in the third -- to chants of
"Barry! Barry!" -- flied out to center in the fifth and struck out
swinging in the seventh.

Young became the 435th pitcher to surrender a homer to Bonds,
who has hit 86 against the Padres for his most against any club.
Bonds' previous homer came 193 days earlier, on Sept. 23, 2006,
against the Milwaukee Brewers. They repeated his shot and his trot
on the big screen after the inning ended.

"Fastball away, just on the plate, but Barry is Barry," Padres
skipper Bud Black said. "He's on the plate and if the ball is
elevated a little bit he still has opposite power in this park."

Bonds last homered in the Giants' waterfront ballpark on Sept.
13 in a 9-8 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

Manager Bruce Bochy appreciated Bonds' defensive hustle.

"He made a great effort catching that ball, put us in the lead,
and that's what you're hoping for," Bochy said. "We just couldn't
hold on there."

Marcus Giles hit a two-run homer in the fifth among his three
hits and Khalil Greene added a solo shot in the inning for San
Diego, which beat the Giants 7-0 in the season opener for both
clubs Tuesday -- the first opening-day shutout by the Padres in
franchise history. Gonzalez homered deep into the right-field
arcade off Jack Taschner, who relieved loser Brad Hennessey (0-1).

"I completely blew that spot," Taschner said. "I let the team
down with one pitch. A guy like Gonzalez, he's not going to let
mistakes like that pass."

The Giants tied it in the bottom half of the fifth on Pedro
Feliz's RBI single, then Randy Winn blooped a single to left to
chase Young and put runners on the corners for pinch-hitter Ryan

Cla Meredith (1-0) walked Klesko to load the bases but Dave
Roberts, who tripled and scored in the third, grounded out to
second. Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his first save, and
the 483rd overall for baseball's career leader.

Bonds isn't ready to concern himself with his team's 0-2 start.

"One pitch got us," he said. "It's nothing to worry about."

Giants starter Matt Cain pitched six solid innings and allowed
five hits and three runs, struck out six and walked one. Cain is
beginning his second full big league season after a standout rookie
campaign last year in which he led NL rookies with 13 wins and also
had a rookie-high 179 strikeouts.

Young gave up three runs on six hits in 5 2-3 innings, struck
out four and walked three and kept his unbeaten road streak alive.
The right-hander went 6-0 with an NL-best 2.41 ERA on the road last
season in 15 starts and is 9-0 with 16 no-decisions in his last 25
starts away from home dating to June 25, 2005.

"It's luck, I'm telling you guys," Young said. "I try to
think the same way at home as I do on the road. This game is
simple. It comes down to execution."

Game Notes
Last year, it took the Padres until May 3 for a three-homer
game. ... Bonds didn't hit his first 2006 home run until April 22
at Colorado, his 13th game, 50th plate appearance and 31st at-bat.
... Bonds has 1,375 career RBIs, 13 shy of Willie McCovey's San
Francisco record of 1,388. ... Roberts hit a career-best 13 triples
last season. ... Gonzalez finished 3-for-4. ... The Padres will try
for a three-game sweep Thursday.