The Padres were in a perfect situation to challenge Barry Bonds: a three-run lead in the eighth inning with nobody on base.
Giants fans got what they came to see, and now Bonds is two home runs from tying the Babe.
Bonds hit his 712th homer yesterday in San Francisco's 5-3 loss to visiting San Diego, moving him even closer to matching Babe Ruth's total for second place on the career list.
Bonds sent a full-count, 96-mile-per-hour fastball from Scott Linebrink over the center-field wall for a solo shot. Linebrink became the 419th pitcher to surrender a home run to Bonds.
''The fast ones I'm able to see. The slower ones I'm missing," Bonds said, smiling. ''He challenged me one time too many."
The seven-time NL MVP, as popular as ever in his home ballpark despite the steroids accusations surrounding him, came home to chants of ''Barry! Barry!" and a loud standing ovation -- and he gave the fans a wave before disappearing into the dugout. His home run total flashed on the scoreboard between innings.
Bonds's big hit overshadowed Mike Cameron's first home run with the Padres, a two-run shot in the first that helped Woody Williams (2-1) end a three-start winless stretch.
Athletics 10, Angels 3 -- Jason Kendall charged the mound and wrestled with Angels pitcher John Lackey in the sixth inning, spicing up Oakland's win in Anaheim. The dugouts and bullpens emptied, followed by a lot of pushing and shoving.
Eric Chavez hit a three-run drive for his 200th career home run and Bobby Crosby also hit a three-run homer for Oakland, which scored six runs in the ninth inning to break it open.
Lackey threw a pitch to Kendall that started out high and inside, then sharply broke back toward the plate. Kendall backed out of the batter's box, then suddenly charged the mound after Lackey barked something at him about the elbow pad he wears. The two grabbed each other as they both tumbled to the ground.
''I can't repeat it, but I'm not going to let anybody talk to me like that," Kendall said.
Diamondbacks 10, Dodgers 8 -- Chad Tracy's first career grand slam sparked a seven-run fifth inning and Shawn Green had four hits for host Arizona, which tied a club record by overcoming a 6-0 deficit to win.
Indians 7, White Sox 1 -- C.C. Sabathia allowed one run in five innings and got out of a bases-loaded jam in his first appearance since leaving the April 2 opener with a strained oblique muscle. Travis Hafner hit a three-run homer in the first inning.
Pirates 8, Cubs 0 -- In Chicago, Pittsburgh's Zach Duke allowed five hits and pitched his first major league shutout and complete game.
Phillies 7, Marlins 5 -- In Miami, Aaron Rowand hit a bases-loaded triple to cap Philadelphia's latest comeback and give Jon Lieber his first victory of the season. Orioles 9, Blue Jays 2 -- Kris Benson took a shutout into the seventh inning, and Jay Gibbons, Miguel Tejada, and Ramon Hernandez homered for host Baltimore.
Rangers 7, Devil Rays 5 -- Mark DeRosa hit a two-run homer, and Kevin Mench and Brad Wilkerson hit back-to-back homers as Texas won in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Astros 8, Brewers 5 -- In Milwaukee, Fernando Nieve pitched seven innings to earn his first major league win as Houston matched its best start (17-9) in franchise history.
Braves 5, Rockies 4 -- Marcus Giles had four hits, including a run-scoring double with two outs in the eighth inning that gave host Atlanta its third straight win.
Twins 5, Mariners 1 -- Johan Santana (2-3) allowed one run and six hits and struck out nine in seven innings as Minnesota beat visiting Seattle.
Nationals 6, Mets 2 -- Alfonso Soriano hit a long, two-run homer and Mike O'Connor stymied host New York for his first major league win.
Tigers 4, Royals 1 -- Brandon Inge and Craig Monroe homered as Detroit won its fifth straight, beating visiting Kansas City.