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Bonds Shows Orioles He's Up to Challenge

Slugger gets a pitch to hit and homers against Ponson to help Giants beat Baltimore, 7-3.

June 14, 2004|From Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Sidney Ponson wanted an opportunity to pitch to Barry Bonds, and the Baltimore Oriole right-hander got his wish.

It was no coincidence that Ponson also lost his fifth consecutive start.

Bonds hit his 676th homer and drove in three runs, leading the San Francisco Giants to a 7-3 victory Sunday.

Ponson, who pitched for the Giants last season, was looking forward to the challenge of facing Bonds, who ranks third on the career home run list.

On Friday, Ponson said, "I'm going after him, and hopefully good things will happen."

He should have known better. After lifting an opposite-field fly to the warning track in the first inning, Bonds hit a two-run shot against Ponson in the third, took an intentional walk in the fifth and drove in a run with a single in the sixth to make it 4-2.

This was one confrontation that Bonds relished. And won.

"Sidney is like that, man," Bonds said. "He doesn't back down to anybody. He says he's going to come after you, that's what he's going to do. He didn't mess around. He didn't throw a curveball. Here it is."

Advantage, Bonds.

"He won the first one, I won the second and third," the slugger said.

Bonds' home run gave him 500 with San Francisco, making the Giant franchise the first to have three players hit 500 with the club. Willie Mays had 646 and Mel Ott hit 511.

Pedro Feliz had three hits for the Giants, who took two of three to win their sixth series in the last eight.

Williams (6-4) gave up three runs and six hits in 7 1/3 innings, but it wasn't a gem. He gave up a season-high four walks, hit three batters and gave up solo home runs to Javy Lopez and B.J. Surhoff.

"I wasn't really comfortable. Everything was flat," he said.

Tyler Walker got four outs for his first major league save.

Ponson (3-8) gave up a career-high 13 hits and six runs in 6 2/3 innings, remaining winless since May 16. Bonds was a big reason why.

"He hits home runs against the best pitchers in the game," Ponson said. "The guy doesn't have 676 homers by mistake. That single, the ball was six inches off the plate. No other hitter would have done that."

The Giants trailed, 1-0, when Bonds stepped to the plate with a runner on third and two out in the third inning.

Instead of issuing an intentional walk -- a ploy Baltimore used four times in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday -- Manager Lee Mazzilli let Ponson pitch to Bonds.

Bonds promptly slammed the first pitch over the right-field scoreboard to put the Giants ahead, 2-1.

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