SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- Barry Bonds broke the record. Then the Los Angeles Dodgers broke his heart.
The longest nine-inning game in major league history featured Bonds breaking Mark McGwire's single-season home run record but had his San Francisco Giants coming up on the short end of an 11-10 decision that eliminated them from postseason contention.
Bonds had stated throughout his chase for the record, set by McGwire while with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998, that 70 homers meant little if it was not accompanied by a playoff appearance. But by the time Bonds crushed a 1-0 pitch from Chan Ho Park over the right-center field wall in the opening inning, the Dodgers already held a 5-0 lead.
"I thought I hit number 71 well but you never know. Our park can be decieving," Bonds said.
"I just missed the pitch," Park said. "It was a fastball that got away and he hit it so good."
The homer got the Giants going and San Francisco was within 8-4 when Bonds hit his 72nd homer, a solo shot to right field off Park in the third. His 56th career multi-homer game and 10th this season left him with 565 all time, moving him within eight of Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew for sixth place all time.
"(The record will) probably last for a couple days," Bonds said facetiously. "I'll probably look at the ball a while. I'm just glad it won't go up for auction."
"The second home run was a breaking ball and he got a hold of that one good too," Park said. "Barry is a great hitter. I am glad I got to challenge him. But my goal was to win the game. I wasn't just concentrating on Barry."
But the Dodgers scratched out a run in the seventh to take the lead. Jeff Reboulet opened the inning against Tim Worrell (2-5) with an infield single and took second when shortstop Aurilia threw the ball away. Chad Kreuter moved Reboulet to third with a groundout and pinch hitter Dave Hansen was walked intentionally.
Marquis Grissom grounded to third and rookie Pedro Feliz had trouble getting the ball out of his glove. His throw to the plate was wide and Reboulet scored for an 11-10 lead. Felix Rodriguez entered the game and escaped the jam but San Francisco could not rally against the Dodgers bullpen.
Bonds drew a two-out walk in the eighth but Los Angeles closer Jeff Shaw retired Kent on a flyout to end the inning. San Francisco got a leadoff walk to open the ninth but Calvin Murray popped up a bunt attempt, J.T. Snow flied out and Shawon Dunston grounded to second.
"Everybody in this lockerroom worked really hard for something but we didn't get it. So that's hard," Bonds said. "We put up enough runs, but just couldn't get all the way back. My main focus has always been on winning, so it's tough to lose, period."
"Just because we didn't get the wild card we're not going give up tomorrow, not until the season is over," Dunston said. "We're going to come out and play hard."
The loss, coupled with the Arizona Diamondbacks' win in Milwaukee eliminated the Giants from contention in the National League West. The Houston Astros' win in St. Louis ended San Francisco's slim hopes for the wild card.
"You can't dampen what Barry did just because we lost to the Dodgers or didn't win the wild card," Kent said. "Barry has been great this year and overachieved while pushing this team. He should be very proud.
"He's (Bonds) been telling you guys all year that all he wants to do is win. I'm sure just like all of us he is dissappointed we couldn't beat the Dodgers tonight."
Giovanni Carrara (6-1) notched the win despite allowing two runs in two innings. Matt Herges tossed 1 2/3 hitless innings while Shaw notched his 42nd save in 51 chances.
"We got a another tremendous effort from the whole team today," Los Angeles manager Jim Tracy said. "It was a great game and I'm happy we could come out on top. We came here with a specific purpose in mind. We went after the game to win, not to concentrate on one individual player."
The game lasted 4 hours and 27 minutes, eclipsing the mark of 4:22, set by Milwaukee at Chicago in May 11, 2000.
Bonds' first homer was countered by another RBI single by Sheffield in the second. San Francisco kept the pressure on as pinch hitter Eric Davis delivered a three-run double in the bottom of the second.
The Giants bullpen could not hold Los Angeles in check and Grissom's 21st homer, a two-run shot in third extended the Dodgers lead to 8-4.
Bonds' second homer was offset by Shawn Green's career-high 49th homer, a solo shot in the fourth. Tracy opted to walk Bonds with runners at second and third and two outs in the fourth but the strategy backfired as Kent delivered a three-run double that got San Francisco within 9-8.
"I've always said when you walk Barry you're taking a chance," Tracy said. You got to look out for the guys behind him. Kent wasn't the NL MVP for nothing."
Sheffield's 36th homer, a one-out shot off Aaron Fultz in the sixth, gave the Dodgers a two-run cushion but Aurilia followed a single by Marvin Benard with a blast just inside the left-field foul pole to knot the contest.