Bonds had a spectacular sliding catch with the bases loaded and
scored the go-ahead run on J.T. Snow's sixth-inning single as the
San Francisco Giants remained undefeated, beating the
San Diego Padres 4-1 Saturday.
"He's got some Gold Gloves," Giants manager Dusty Baker said.
"We really aren't surprised by anything he does, either
defensively or with the bat."
Bonds, who hit a record 73 home runs last season, was homerless
after hitting five in the first four games to tie Lou Brock's pace
in 1967. Larry Walker hit six home runs in the first five games in
San Francisco starter Kurt Ainsworth, an Olympic gold medalist
making his first career start, got into trouble in the third,
loading the bases with no outs for Ryan Klesko, returning from a
Klesko popped up to shallow left, where Bonds sprinted before
making a dazzling sliding catch. Without missing a beat, Bonds
jumped up and hurled the ball to catcher Benito Santiago in time to
catch Padres starter Kevin Jarvis coming in from third.
"I thought, all right, we've got a chance," said Ainsworth,
watching Bonds' catch anxiously from the mound. "And then he had
that perfect throw to the plate."
After Phil Nevin grounded out to end the inning, the fans gave
Bonds a standing ovation as he headed to the dugout.
The Padres made it 1-0 in the fourth inning on Sean Burroughs'
RBI double down the left-field line.
The Giants came close in the bottom half. Rich Aurilia doubled
before going to third on Bonds' deep flyout to the 421-foot marker
in right-center. Jeff Kent and Reggie Sanders both walked to load
the bases for Snow, who lined to first for the double play.
The Giants went ahead in the sixth. Aurilia singled, Bonds
walked and Kent reached on shortstop Deivi Cruz's error to load the
bases. Sanders' sacrifice fly scored Aurilia, and Snow singled to
score Bonds. David Bell scored Kent with another single.
Jarvis (0-2) allowed two runs on four hits over five innings.
Bell added another RBI single -- scoring Bonds -- in the eighth.
"I don't know how we only got one run, to be honest," Padres
manager Bruce Bochy said. "We took some chances. But we've got to
get some runs over the plate."
Kent returned from the disabled list, where he opened the season
because of a broken bone in his left wrist. He missed the Giants'
first four games of the season and all but two games in spring
The former NL MVP told reporters he injured his wrist while
washing his truck. But later reports said he might have had an
accident while riding his motorcycle near the Giants' spring
training home at Scottsdale Stadium.
Klesko, moved this year from first base to right field, was
suspended for the first four games of the season for charging the
mound after being hit by Anaheim's Aaron Sele on March 9.
Ainsworth allowed one run and six hits over five innings in his
debut. He walked four and struck out three.
Bonds, an eight-time Gold Glove winner, finished 0-for-2 with
two walks and two runs scored.
He hit two homers in each of the first two games of the season.
The only other player to open the season with a pair of two-homer
games was Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews in 1958.
He added a two-run walk-off home run in the 10th inning of
Friday's home opener, a 3-1 victory over the Padres.
The Padres have won just one game this season.
"Both games could have gone either way," Bochy said of the
series so far. "Just little things. Here or there.
The Giants placed 1B Damon Minor on the DL with tendinitis
in his left knee. Minor, the backup for J.T. Snow, has appeared in
two games this season for the Giants, going 0-for-3. ... Ainsworth
and fellow starter Ryan Jensen are the Giants' first rookie tandem
to start the season since John Montefusco and Pete Falcone in 1975.
... The Padres have not won a road series against the Giants since
they took three of four June 18-21, 1998, at the former Candlestick
Park. ... Bell finished 2-for-4 with two RBI.