National League

Bonds Barely Misses Hitting Homer No. 714

By Steve Fainaru
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 10, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO, May 9 -- Inches separated Barry Bonds from his 714th home run Tuesday night. In the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs, Bonds blistered a line drive to dead center field, but outfielder Juan Pierre leaped and caught the ball at the top of the fence.

Pierre said teammates told him the ball would have cleared the fence; he thought it might have hit the top and gone over. Giants fans briefly erupted, believing they had witnessed history. At 713 homers, Bonds is one shy of tying Babe Ruth for second place on the career list.

"It's one of those things," he said. "I know I ruined about 40,000 people's nights tonight. He can get as many hits as he wants, when we get out of town."

Bonds went 1 for 4 with a walk in San Francisco's 6-1 win over Chicago, which has lost eight straight games. In the seventh inning, former Giants left-hander Scott Eyre threw Bonds six straight fastballs. But with cameras flashing around him, Bonds managed only a single to left-center field.

Bonds is expected to be back in the lineup Wednesday night in the second game of the series. Giants officials are hoping that Bonds can tie and pass Ruth before the seven-game homestand ends this weekend with a three-game series against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bonds, who allegedly used an array of steroids to boost his home run totals, has been showered with abuse in opposing cities. Giants fans stood and cheered him through every at-bat. However, announced attendance was 39,357, more than 2,000 shy of a sellout despite advance notice that Bonds would resume his pursuit Tuesday.

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