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Bonds Uses All of His Powers to Stop Padres

April 03, 2001|From Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds hit another opening-day home run and threw out Tony Gwynn at home plate.

Which was better?

"I can't say it's throwing out Tony, because he's like 45," Bonds said after the San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres, 3-2, Monday.

Bonds, eligible for free agency after this season, hit his 495th career home run in the fifth. It was his third opening-day home run.

"I don't keep track of stuff like that," he said. "The only time I see it is when it's posted on the scoreboard."

It's only a matter of time before Bonds joins the 500-homer club.

"We know that Barry's five away," Giant Manager Dusty Baker said. "Sooner or later it's going to happen. I just hope he doesn't put too much pressure on himself."

Giant starter Livan Hernandez gave up both San Diego runs on six hits in 7 1/3 innings.

Hernandez also made it 1-0 in the fourth inning with a single that scored Bobby Estalella, who had doubled off Woody Williams with two outs.

Bonds threw out the 40-year-old Gwynn at the plate in the fourth. Gwynn, who didn't play after June 23 last year and is coming back from knee surgery, was trying to score from second on Wiki Gonzalez's single to left.

Gwynn, who was sliding home, clutched his leg after the tag by catcher Estalella, but returned to right field in the bottom of the fourth. He went two for four, batting fifth in the order for the first time since 1983, his second season.

"He stepped right on my thigh. I don't know if I even got to the plate," Gwynn said of the tag.

Gwynn's run-scoring single in the eighth gave him 3,110 hits, tying new hall of famer Dave Winfield for 16th on the career list.

"I'm thrilled to death to be playing," Gwynn said. "It's been 8 1/2 months and just being able to step out there--I can't tell you what a feeling that is."

Marvin Benard added an RBI single for the Giants in the sixth.

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