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Bonds is stuck at No. 754

He doesn't come close to a home run in an 8-5 loss at home to Marlins. Giants play next six on the road.

July 30, 2007|From the Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — All Barry Bonds broke Sunday was his maple bat.

Bonds was one for four with an infield single on the final day of the San Francisco Giants' homestand, failing to come close to a home run during an 8-5 loss to the Florida Marlins.

Still one from tying Hank Aaron's record of 755, Bonds even took a rare swing on a 3-0 pitch in an effort to reach Hammerin' Hank. Now he takes his quest to a place where his reception figures to be anything but friendly: Dodger Stadium.

Bonds, one for seven with five walks since hitting No. 754 on Friday night, was set to fly home to Beverly Hills after Sunday's game, giving him several nights in his own bed for this coming week.

Giants Manager Bruce Bochy wasn't sure whether Bonds would play Tuesday's series opener against the Dodgers or take the night off to rest.

"I think the day off is coming at a good time," Bochy said. "For the most part, he'll be out there."

Bonds would like to set the record at home, but the Giants have a six-game trip to Los Angeles and San Diego before returning for a homestand against Washington and Pittsburgh. Commissioner Bud Selig, who missed the weekend series for the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, N.Y., planned to be at Dodger Stadium for the series opener.

Before the game, Bonds wouldn't speculate on the reception he'll receive at Dodger Stadium -- saying he preferred to keep the focus on the team.

The seven-time National League most valuable player watched some film of Marlins starter Sergio Mitre on his personal TV at his corner locker -- but mostly he monitored the New York Yankees' game at Baltimore to see whether Alex Rodriguez reached the 500-home run mark.

"Are they working in special balls for A-Rod?" Bonds asked, noting he would try to be in the stands to see Rodriguez chase his probable record someday "if I'm alive."

Bonds grounded out to second leading off the second inning against Mitre (5-5), trying to pull a 3-0 pitch but beating the ball into the infield.

He flied out in the fourth, breaking his bat with his best cut in two days.

He glanced down not once but twice at the bit of handle left in his hands, carried the chunk of wood back to the dugout, said something to catcher Miguel Olivo on the way and handed the piece to his batboy son, 17-year-old Nikolai, as a souvenir.

Bonds grounded out in the sixth and reached in the eighth when Olivo dropped a high popup near the mound, a play first ruled an error but later changed to a hit.

--

CHASING AARON

Hank Aaron surpassed Babe Ruth's career home run record of 714 in 1974, and finished with 755. Barry Bonds is closing on Aaron's record:

* Home runs: 754.

* Sunday:

1 for 4.

* Projected date to break record: Aug. 9, vs. Wash.

* Next for Giants: vs. Dodgers, Tuesday (Brad Penny).

* Bonds vs. Penny: .280, (7 for 25), 3 home runs.

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