CINCINNATI — Barry Bonds hit a solo homer in the 10th inning as the San Francisco Giants overcame a failure by Rod Beck and defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 4-2, on Wednesday night.
The Giants' fourth consecutive victory improved their record to 23-13, their best start in 24 years. The Giants opened the 1973 season at 25-11.
Cincinnati is off to its worst start in 47 years. The Reds (11-26) have lost four in a row for their worst opening mark since 1950, when they had an identical record.
The Reds sent the game to an extra inning when Reggie Sanders homered off Beck (2-1) leading off the bottom of the ninth. It was only the second blown save in 15 chances for Beck.
After walking Bonds in two of his four previous plate appearances, the Reds brought in Mike Remlinger specifically to pitch to him with one out in the 10th inning. Bonds hit a 2-and-1 pitch into the second deck in right-center field for his sixth homer.
"I got behind 2-and-0, then 2-1," Remlinger said. "I thought four fastballs in a row was too many. I could have thrown him a curve, but I thought I'd go to the cutter because it's more of a power pitch. I tried to get it low and away and Eddie [catcher Ed Taubensee] was putting his target low and away, so we were thinking the same. But I got it up and he hit out like he's supposed to."
Rich Rodriguez pitched the 10th for his first save since Sept. 1993.
Bonds' homer was the last of three solo shots in the game. Cincinnati's Willie Greene homered in the second inning off Osvaldo Fernandez, and Sanders tied it in the ninth inning.
Darryl Hamilton's two-out grounder bounced off Greene's chest at third base in the ninth inning, allowing Mark Lewis to score a go-ahead run on the error.
The Reds, who are second in the league at stranding runners, wasted a bases-loaded opportunity in the fifth when Curtis Goodwin hit a weak fly ball on Fernandez's first pitch.
Cincinnati will honor Jackie Robinson before tonight's game with the Dodgers by displaying his number beyond the wall in left field.
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