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Bonds Makes a Huge Impression

Interleague: He hits one of the longest homers in Yankee Stadium history and the Giants beat Rivera, 4-3.

June 09, 2002|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Barry Bonds won't forget his first Yankee Stadium home run or the way his San Francisco Giant teammates found a way to beat Mariano Rivera.

Bonds hit one of the most impressive homers ever at baseball's most famous ballpark and the Giants took advantage of Alfonso Soriano's error to beat baseball's best closer, 4-3, Saturday.

"It felt good hitting a home run in the House That Ruth Built," Bonds said. "Anybody would feel good about that. It feels a lot better because we won."

After Bonds hit a three-run homer almost halfway up the upper deck in right field in the first inning, San Francisco didn't score again until the ninth.

With the score tied, 3-3, Rich Aurilia walked on a 3-2 pitch with one out against Rivera (1-3). That set up a highly anticipated confrontation between Rivera and Bonds. With the sellout crowd of 55,194 cheering every pitch, Rivera struck out Bonds on a high fastball.

"He's nasty," Bonds said. "That's why he's the best."

The fans seemed to sense that the danger was over, but the Giants weren't finished.

Jeff Kent fouled off four two-strike pitches before hitting a soft single that sent Aurilia to third base, and Benito Santiago followed with a broken-bat grounder to second.

"I wanted to go for the ball with my glove, but it went to the right so I had to try to grab it with my hand," Soriano said.

Soriano was unable to barehand the ball as it took a tricky hop. It hit off his hand and Aurilia scored the go-ahead run on the play.

"There's really no reason to barehand the ball when you can help yourself with the glove," Yankee Manager Joe Torre said.

The Yankees committed three errors and managed a season-low two hits in 7 1/3 innings against Giant starter Jason Schmidt, who had 13 strikeouts.

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