Bonds ties Willie Mays with 660th home run - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Bonds ties Willie Mays with 660th home run

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Posted: Monday, April 12, 2004 4:43 pm | Updated: 5:45 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

SAN FRANCISCO - Barry Bonds hit his 660th home run exactly as he would have scripted it: at home before a sellout crowd to give the Giants the lead.

The San Francisco slugger tied godfather Willie Mays for third on baseball's career list Monday with a towering three-run shot that splashed into McCovey Cove, sending the Giants to a 7-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Bonds connected in the fifth inning on a 3-1 pitch from Matt Kinney (0-1) for his second homer of the season. The estimated 442-foot blast put the Giants ahead 5-4. It was the 28th time Bonds has homered into the water.

The 39-year-old Bonds was greeted at home by several teammates and he stepped on the plate and raised both hands in the air and pointed to the sky.

Mays hurried to congratulate the six-time NL MVP, giving his godson a hug and a kiss outside the dugout. Mays presented him with a torch decorated with 25 tiny diamonds, symbolic of the number Bonds wears. They both carried the torch before the 2002 Olympics.

Bonds came back out of the dugout and waved to the fans in each direction as they cheered, "Barry! Barry!" and gave him a standing ovation. The sellout crowd of 42,548 appeared to quickly forget about the steroid controversy surrounding their star slugger and his personal trainer.

Children along the left-field wall bowed to Bonds when he came out to play the field in the top of the sixth. A banner of Bonds was unfurled from the light tower to the left side of the main center-field scoreboard to match one of Mays on the other side.

Hank Aaron leads the career list with 755 home runs, followed by Babe Ruth with 714.

When asked during spring training whether he can pass Aaron, his hero, Bonds quickly answered: "I think I can do anything. ... I'm going for it all."

Mays hit his 660th on Aug. 17, 1973, as a member of the New York Mets at Shea Stadium off Cincinnati's Don Gullett.

Bonds, who set the single-season homer record with 73 in 2001, went five games without a homer after hitting one last Monday at Houston.

He has repeatedly said he'd like to pass Mays at home, and the Giants began a 10-game homestand with a three-game series against the Brewers.

When Kinney saw Bonds' ball go over the fence, the pitcher walked backward off the mound and onto the grass, trying to ignore the slugger's historic home-run trot.

Bonds walked on four pitches in the first, then singled in the third. Bonds took three straight balls in the fifth - and Kinney was booed loudly on each - then fouled one off before hitting the extra-special shot. Mays has been a mentor to Bonds since the slugger's father, Bobby, died last August.

Fireworks went off and it was evident that this indeed was Bonds' day. Even mayor Gavin Newsom, on hand to toss out the ceremonial first pitch, had a feeling this would be the day.

Bonds followed his homer with a seventh-inning double that dropped in left between three fielders - and suddenly he was a triple from the cycle. He came around to score an insurance run. In the eighth, Bonds made a running backhanded catch on a drive by Lyle Overbay.

Bonds received his latest NL MVP award before the game from nine-time hockey MVP Wayne Gretzky and five-time NBA MVP Bill Russell.

"This is a great honor to have Wayne and Bill here. I watched their careers," Bonds said. "To be honored up here with them is a great honor myself."

And Bonds was greeted by a nice ovation from the home crowd when he was introduced before the game in a special ceremony. A few boos were sprinkled in, but for the most part this crowd seemed to support him despite the constant questions about whether he's boosted his career with banned substances.

Jerome Williams (1-1) pitched six innings for the win, allowing four runs on eight hits.

Matt Herges pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

Craig Counsell had two hits with a sacrifice bunt and Junior Spivey had a hit and two RBIs.

Geoff Jenkins singled to drive in a run in the third, but first baseman J.T. Snow bobbled the ball on the stop and it got past him, allowing Jenkins to advance to second. Counsell scored, beating a throw home by Snow. The ball short-hopped catcher A.J. Pierzynski and skipped to the fence, and Spivey came home to make it 3-1.

Notes:@ Milwaukee went 1-5 against San Francisco in 2003. ... Injured Giants closer Robb Nen threw 25 pitches off the mound and probably will throw again Wednesday. ... RHP ace Jason Schmidt, sidelined with shoulder soreness, threw a 15-minute bullpen session and hopes to pitch Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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