<
>

Bonds' fifth homer of season the game-winner

4/6/2002

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- After receiving the National League MVP
award, Barry Bonds showed why he could win another one.

Bonds just wanted to get home.

"I don't like to play extra innings," he joked. "We don't get
paid overtime. I want to get out of here."

Bonds hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning, his fifth home run
in four games, to lead the San Francisco Giants over the San Diego Padres 3-1 Friday in their home opener.

Reggie Sanders also homered for the Giants, who have won four
straight, including a season-opening series at Los Angeles in which
Bonds homered twice in each of the first two games.

After Rich Aurilia was hit by Steve Reed (0-1) leading off the
10th, Padres manager Bruce Bochy brought in left-hander Alan Embree
to face Bonds. With the crowd on its feet, Bonds connected on an
0-1 pitch, sending it over the wall in right.

"It's early, you know, and baseball's a long-distance race,"
Bonds said. I don't really get excited about the first quarter-lap.
I get excited about the last lap."

Bonds, who hit a record 73 home runs last season, tied the
record for most homers in the first four games, set by Lou Brock in
1967. Bonds has 572 homers and is one short of Harmon Killebrew,
who is sixth on the career list. Bonds had been 0-for-2 with two
walks before the homer.

Before the game, Bonds was honored in a ceremony featuring
fellow MVPs Kevin Mitchell, Jeff Kent, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey,
Orlando Cepeda, Vida Blue, Ernie Banks and Reggie Jackson.

"If they'd have pitched to him last year, he might have hit 90
home runs," Banks said. "What a player."

Embree said pitchers simply can't make mistakes to Bonds.

"You obviously have to be careful out there," Embree said.
"He's on a heck of a pace right now. He squares the ball better
than anyone in the game."

For his part, Bonds was working on little sleep after Thursday
night's game against the Dodgers and the late-night plane ride. But
he was still happy to give the fans a bit of a show for the home
opener.

"It's opening day. It doesn't matter. You could probably get
just one hour of sleep and still get the job done because it's
opening day."

Bonds' previous walkoff home run was Aug. 30, 1999, against
Philadelphia at Candlestick Park.

Tim Worrell (1-0) got the win by retiring his only batter, Ron
Gant, on an inning-ending foulout to third baseman Pedro Feliz.

With the score tied at 1, Bonds walked with one out in the
eighth inning. He stole second and, one out later, went to third on
J.T. Snow's hit. But Benito Santiago struck out, stranding him at
third.

In his first at-bat, against Brett Tomko, Bonds flied out to the
warning track in right-center, near the 421-foot sign.

Bonds made an excellent defensive play in the top of the inning,
a running catch of Sean Burroughs' bases-loaded high fly to the
left corner.

"That first inning was huge," Bochy said. "We had the bases
loaded and hit that ball hard. Bonds made a good play on it. We
swung the bats decent, but there's just not a lot to show for it."

Sanders, signed as a free agent after leaving the World Series
champion Arizona Diamondbacks, homered in the second for a 1-0
lead. Tomko had an RBI single in the fourth, the first run off the
Giants in 27 innings.

Giants starter Kirk Rueter allowed six hits in seven innings.
Tomko, making his debut with the Padres, gave up four hits in seven
innings.

Game notes
Padres C Wiki Gonzalez went on the 15-day disabled list
with a broken bone in his left wrist. He was hurt when he fouled
off a pitch from Arizona's Brian Anderson in the fourth inning
Wednesday. He had surgery Thursday and is expected to miss 6-to-8
weeks. ... The Padres recalled C Javier Cardona from Triple-A
Portland and he went 1-for-4. ... San Francisco is 26-19 in home
openers, including eight of 10. ... The Giants hadn't opened a
season with four straight wins since 1999, when they opened with
five. ... Bonds' walks give him 1,730, six shy of sixth on the
career list. He also stole a base, giving him 485 career steals