Bonds wallops No. 754
Hammerin' Hank, he's right behind you now.
Barry Bonds hit his 754th career home run last night, and needs just one more to tie Hank Aaron's record.
The Giants star sent a 2-and-1 pitch from rookie Rick Vanden Hurk over the wall in left-center in the first inning for a solo shot against the visiting Florida Marlins, his 20th homer of the season. The Giants went on to win, 12-10.
Bonds walked in his next four at-bats and will keep up his pursuit tonight, when Dontrelle Willis starts for the Marlins.
Bud Selig wasn't there to see this homer, sending MLB president and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy in his place. The commissioner was back in Milwaukee, preparing to go to tomorrow's Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y.
After a brief pause to put specially marked baseballs in play, Bonds drew ball one and ball two -- with boos raining down on Vanden Hurk -- before a called first strike. Then, the 96-mile-per-hour fastball was gone -- a drive estimated at 420 feet.
As usual, Bonds stood and watched his ball sail away, then began yet another trot and pumped his fist along the way. "754" flashed on the main scoreboard.
The Giants tied a season high with four home runs, including Ray Durham's tiebreaking two-run shot off Renyel Pinto (2-4) that gave San Francisco a 9-7 lead.
Orioles, 4-2; Yankees, 8-7 -- Rookie Jeremy Guthrie (7-3) limited New York to two runs in six innings, and host Baltimore won its fifth straight, beating Andy Pettitte.
Earlier, the Yankees defeated Baltimore in the completion of a game suspended June 28 by rain.
Play resumed in the eighth inning with the Yankees up, 8-6, and closer Mariano Rivera gave up a run in a harrowing ninth before earning his 16th save.
That game officially occurred last month, so after it was over the Orioles could resume their quest to win a seventh straight at home.
Angels 11, Tigers 6 -- Gary Matthews Jr. broke out of an 0-for-19 drought with three run-scoring hits and robbed Craig Monroe of a grand slam to lead host Los Angeles in the matchup of division leaders.
Royals 6, Rangers 1 -- Brian Bannister pitched seven shutout innings and Billy Butler hit a three-run homer as Kansas City won at Texas.
White Sox 4, Blue Jays 3-- Jermaine Dye homered and Juan Uribe hit a go-ahead two-run double in the sixth inning to lead host Chicago over Toronto.
Mariners 7, Athletics 1 -- Adrian Beltre hit a three-run double and Jose Guillen hit a two-run homer as host Seattle ended a season-high seven-game losing streak.
Diamondbacks 8, Braves 7 -- Tony Clark homered to lead off the bottom of the 11th inning and Arizona beat Atlanta after squandering a seven-run lead.
Arizona has won seven straight to move within one game of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.
Phillies 8, Pirates 1 -- Pat Burrell homered and had three RBIs and Jamie Moyer allowed one run in seven innings in host Philadelphia's rain-shortened win.
The game was called after a 61-minute delay following the seventh inning.
Nationals 6, Mets 2 -- Washington's Ryan Church and Austin Kearns homered to back the pitching of former Met Mike Bacsik at New York.
Padres 9, Astros 4 -- Milton Bradley homered and Brian Giles had three RBIs for visiting San Diego and Jake Peavy (10-5) won for the first time since June 19.
Brewers 12, Cardinals 2 -- Corey Hart homered, doubled, and singled, Kevin Mench matched his career high with four hits, and Tony Graffanino had three RBIs to lead visiting Milwaukee's 19-hit attack.
Reds 5, Cubs 4 -- Edwin Encarnacion homered and drove in the winning run in the ninth with a single to give host Cincinnati the win.
Last night's game between the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Denver was rained out. It will be made up when the Dodgers return to Coors Field in September.