Published: Saturday, April 14, 2007
Bonds sends 2 out of PNC Park in Giants' win
Barry Bonds ended a slump by belting his 736th and 737th career home runs.
PITTSBURGH (AP) For one night, it seemed like old times for the San Francisco Giants with Barry Bonds hitting multiple home runs and Russ Ortiz going deep into a game to win.
Bonds shook off an early season slump and some chilly weather to hit his 736th and 737th career homers before being lifted in the fourth inning, helping Ortiz end a 12-game losing streak in the Giants' 8-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates Friday night.
Bonds, hitting .192 with one homer in 26 at-bats previously, hit a two-run shot down the right-field line in the second inning off Zach Duke and a deeper solo drive into the right-center stands in the fourth off Shawn Chacon. The 42-year-old Bonds needs 19 homers to break Hank Aaron's record.
With the Giants up 8-2 by the fourth, Bonds was lifted following his 70th career multi-homer game, two short of Babe Ruth's record of 72. Manager Bruce Bochy pulled Bonds to keep his legs fresh for the long season.
"What a day he had," said Bochy, whose team scored only 20 runs in its first nine games. "We've been trying to get this offense going and that's what we needed."
Spoke to reporters
The 42-year-old Bonds spoke to reporters at length before the game during what possibly could be his final visit to Pittsburgh, where he played from 1986-92, but did not talk afterward.
"Everybody's just here to watch and see what he can do," Ortiz said. "That's the fun part, when he starts hitting, because it brings everyone's game up a little bit. It's like, 'Our big guy is hitting,' and you feed off that."
Ortiz, bidding for his first complete game since Sept. 4, 2004, allowed Chris Duffy's three-run homer with two outs in the ninth before Vinnie Chulk retired Jack Wilson for the final out.
"He broke quite a streak, and he should feel great about that effort," Bochy said. "We gave him the shot for the complete game, but we certainly don't want that [Duffy homer] to take away from the game he pitched."
Before the game, Bonds joked about his pursuit of Aaron's record and the 3,000-hit mark he is 151 hits away by saying he would settle for three more hits. He needed only three at-bats to get them, even though he predicted he wouldn't start warming up until the temperature hit 70. It was 49 at the start of the game and dropped from there.
Homers in Pittsburgh
Of Bonds' 737 homers, 96 have been in Pittsburgh: 89 in Three Rivers Stadium and seven in 39 at-bats in PNC Park, which opened in 2001.
Bonds singled in the first run of a five-run first against left-hander Zach Duke (1-1), who followed the pattern of his 15-loss season of a year ago by getting into early trouble. Pedro Feliz added an RBI double and, after Randy Winn was intentionally walked to get to him, Ortiz helped himself with a two-run double off Duke on a 3-0 pitch.
No doubt Ortiz (1-1) was willing to do anything to break his 20-month losing streak, which dated to an Aug. 29, 2005, victory against San Diego while with Arizona. He was 0-8 last season with the Diamondbacks and Orioles and lost his first decision this season.
"I didn't realize how long it is until people remind me of it," said Ortiz, who returned to the Giants this season after winning 73 games for them from 1998-2002. "I was doing everything I could to go inning by inning. After five, I was thinking, 'Well, at least now it's an official game.' "
Ortiz allowed 10 hits, struck out seven and walked one. His losing streak lasted over 31 games and 16 starts, a stretch in which he gave up 75 earned runs in 862/3 innings.
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