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Bonds, Giants Knock Out Phillies


On a huge day for hitting, Barry Bonds almost landed his biggest blow at the mound.

Bonds went 4-for-4 and drove in three runs, then tackled Philadelphia reliever Ricky Bottalico after being hit by a pitch Sunday as the San Francisco Giants beat the Phillies 15-3.

"(Fights) are a part of baseball," said Bonds, who had a noticeable welt above his right eye from the brawl. "I don't need to comment on it further."

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  • "We won the game, I had a great day, that's it -- time to move on."

    Newly acquired Ellis Burks, Bonds and Jeff Kent hit consecutive home runs in the second inning -- the first time the Giants had hit three in a row since 1982 -- as San Francisco defeated Philadelphia for the third straight day.

    Bonds homered, tripled and singled twice. He had also stolen a base in the fifth when the Giants were up 9-2, which may have prompted what happened the next time he batted.

    With the Giants ahead 12-3, Bonds led off the seventh and Bottalico hit him in the right knee. Bottalico had just entered the game as a part of a double switch.

    Bonds immediately charged the mound and tackled Bottalico. Both benches and bullpens emptied onto the field, although there did not appear to be any punches that landed.

    "Enough was enough for Barry," Giants manager Dusty Baker said. "I just hope if there's a suspension that it isn't severe."

    Bottalico had a cut under his left eye. He said it occurred when he hit the artificial turf during the brawl.

    Bottalico insisted his pitch to Bonds did not carry a message.

    "It just got away from me," he said. "I'm not sure why I got tossed."

    Bonds' steal might have prompted what happened in his nex at-bat.

    "If that's what upset them, there's something wrong," Bonds said. "As long as baseball has been around, it's not over in the fifth inning. You can still run, you're trying to win the game. They had come back twice on us from big leads in the first two games."

    Baker did not believe Bottalico's insistence of innocence.

    "I thought it was obvious that he threw at Barry," Baker said. "We figured it was pretty obvious. It was coming, they threw a ball behind Marvin (Benard) and a couple up and in against Ellis (Burks)."

    In the bottom of the inning, Giants starter Kirk Rueter (12-6) hit Alex Arias with a pitch with two outs and none on. Arias walked toward the mound before catcher Brent Mayne got in his way. Both benches and bullpens cleared again, but no punches were thrown.

    Arias was ejected but Rueter stayed in the game.

    The Giants tied a season high with 19 hits, nine for extra bases. Burks, acquired Friday from Colorado, knocked in four runs and Kent drove in three. Bonds had his first four-hit game of the season and J.T. Snow had three hits, including a two-run homer.

    Scott Rolen and Arias homered for the Phillies in their fourth straight loss.

    The consecutive homers by Burks, Bonds and Kent came against Mike Welch (0-1), making his first major league start. It was the first time the Giants had hit three straight homers since July 11, 1982, when Reggie Smith, Milt May and Champ Summers tagged Montreal's Scott Sanderson.

    Rueter (12-6) was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst as he worked seven innings, allowing six hits and three earned runs. He struck out five and didn't walk a batter.

    Burks' 17th homer was his first for the Giants. The three-run shot landed in the upper deck in left field.

    Bonds, who tripled in the first, followed with an opposite-field blast, his 21st of the season. He has 25 career homers at Veterans Stadium, one shy of the record for visiting players held by Gary Carter. Kent capped the burst with his 15th of the year as the Giants extended their lead to 6-0.

    "It was a great chain reaction," Burks said. "Something like that just ignites a team. It also probably ignited something else today."

    The Phillies, which used seven pitchers, will try to regroup after giving up 45 hits in the last three days.

    "We're had a rough three games," Phillies manager Terry Francona said. "We ran everybody out there."

    Notes:

  • Baker tinkered with the lineup, moving Burkes to second, Bonds to third and Kent to cleanup.
  • Kent's homer was his sixth in his last nine games.
  • Rolen set a career-high in homers with 22. Against Rueter, Rolen was 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in his career before his homer.
  • Rolen has four homers and 13 RBIs in his last 10 games.
  • Marvin Benard is hitting .529 (9-for-17) on the Giants' road trip.
  • Bonds needs five home runs to become baseball's first 400-homer and 400-stolen bas player ever.
  • Bonds has been hit by a pitch seven times this season.

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