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Updated: Monday, August 30, 2004 1:23 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
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SAN FRANCISCO 9, ATLANTA 5
 

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- With all-time home run champ Henry Aaron in attendance, Barry Bonds put on a clinic.

Bonds had four hits, including a pair of homers, and drove in six as the San Francisco Giants posted a 9-5 triumph over the Atlanta Braves .

With his 68th career multi-homer game and fourth this season, Bonds moved past Mark McGwire and into sole possession of second on the all-time list. Only Babe Ruth - with 72 - has more.

Bonds also moved within four homers of 700 in his career, a plateau that only Aaron and Ruth have reached. The Giants left fielder had hits in his first four at-bats - he never has had a five-hit game - before striking out in the eighth and raised his National League-leading batting average to .368.

"I was tired," Bonds said of his fifth at-bat. "I saw eight baseballs."

The six RBI were Bonds' most in a game since April 30, 1996. His first homer, a two-run shot to right-center field in the third inning off former teammate Russ Ortiz (13-7), was estimated at 467 feet. Only Chicago Cubs right fielder Sammy Sosa has hit one further at Turner Field, ripping one an estimated 471 feet on September 2, 2001.

"(I haven't seen a better power hitter) in the last 20 years," said Braves manager Bobby Cox . "I am sure Hank and Willie (Mays) and the guys (had) that kind of hitting. The other power guys have a tendency to strike out. Bonds doesn't."

Bonds' next blast was a two-run shot in the fifth, a line drive over the right field wall that was estimated at 462 feet - the third-longest homer at the stadium.

"Who cares where it goes, as long as it goes over the line," Bonds said.

"Any time a pitcher makes a mistake, he capitalizes on them, said Ortiz. "Not just him, most big league hitters. He's just able to do it a little more."

Bonds added a two-run single in the sixth that pushed San Francisco's lead to 8-2.

"That was great," said Giants manager Felipe Alou . "They pitched to (Bonds). I didn't believe they were trying to groove it, but they were pitching to him."

"We kind of wanted to pitch to him in both (home run) situations, said Braves manager Bobby Cox . "But certainly, we wanted to make better pitches."

Ortiz was tagged for seven runs and nine hits in five innings and lost for the first time since June 20.

"I let the guy who you don't want to beat you, beat us," said Ortiz. "Those two home runs pretty much lost the game for us. It's my fault for not making my pitches."

Bonds had been 0-for-3 with three walks lifetime against Ortiz before tonight.

"He's not pitching as good as he normally does," said Bonds. "He missed his spots."

Jason Christiansen (4-2) notched the win with a hitless fifth inning in relief of rookie Brad Hennessey .

Dustin Hermanson recorded the final four outs for his seventh save in eight opportunities.

It looked like the Braves were about to bail out Ortiz in the fifth. Rafael Furcal doubled to open the frame, and Marcus Giles walked to chase Hennessey.

Christiansen came on in relief and surrendered a one-out RBI single to Chipper Jones which cut the lead to 5-3. However, Johnny Estrada grounded into a double play to end the inning.

"That was a good job by Christiansen," Alou said. "That was the game right there."

With the win, San Francisco forged a tie with the Chicago Cubs and the San Diego Padres in the National League wild card race.


© 2005 STATS, Inc
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