Another Banner Day For Barry

As Colorado Rockies catcher Bobby Estalella looks on, San Francisco Giant Barry Bonds drops his bat and watches career home run 586 leave the ballpark after he hit it off Rockies relief pitcher Brian Fuentes in the seventh inning of a game at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco on June 2, 2002. REUTERS

Barry Bonds is honored his name is right up there on the career home run list with Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Frank Robinson. But what matters now, he said, is wins.

Bonds hit his 586th home run to tie Robinson for fourth place on the career list, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Colorado Rockies 9-2 Sunday night to snap a four-game losing streak.

"This victory means more to us right now," Bonds said. "Every team goes through a spell where they're not hitting the ball. Today we came together."

Bonds hit a high-arching solo shot, driving a 3-2 pitch from Brian Fuentes into the right-center bleachers in the seventh inning for his 19th homer of the season, matching Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa for the major league lead.

Benito Santiago added a three-run homer, and Jason Schmidt (1-1) pitched seven strong innings for the Giants, who beat the Rockies for the first time in six tries this season.

"I'm just trying to play to win. Right now, we're in a little down spell," Bonds said. "Hopefully we'll pick it up."

The Rockies, who won the first two games of the weekend series, have never swept the Giants in San Francisco. Colorado lost for just the third time in 13 games.

With one out in the first inning, David Bell and Bonds singled. Bell scored on Jeff Kent's double before Santiago's shot off John Thomson (6-4) into the left-field bleachers.

Kent scored Bell with a double in the third to make it 5-0. Schmidt doubled in the fourth and scored on Reggie Sanders' single.

Schmidt allowed one run on five hits. He struck out nine.

Fuentes said he left a fastball against Bonds "a little up."

"I got too much of the plate and he drove it," he said.

Bonds had not homered since Monday, a span of 15 at-bats, but he has still gone deep seven times in his last 19 games.

The reigning NL MVP hit a single-season record 73 home runs last season. With one more to go to surpass Robinson, Bonds' next target on the career list is godfather Mays, who has 660 homers. Ruth hit 714 and Aaron holds the career record with 755.

"I really appreciate what they've done for the game and I'm honored to be in the same class," Bonds said.

Damon Minor, starting at first base in place of an ailing J.T. Snow, doubled in the fifth inning to score Bonds. Tsuyoshi Shinjo added an RBI grounder.

Thomson allowed a season-high eight runs on 10 hits over 4 1-3 innings. He walked one and struck out three.

The Rockies finally scored in the sixth. Larry Walker, back in the lineup after missing two games with a sore elbow, walked and scored on Todd Helton's double.


By Anne M. Peterson
  • Francie Grace

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