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Giants end four-game skid

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Barry Bonds is keeping fairly quiet about
his phenomenal home run pace. At 39, the slugger says he has to
save energy any way he can.

He sure doesn't seem to be lacking any.

Bonds hit his 666th homer through a swirling mist and over the
center-field wall, and the San Francisco Giants held on to beat the
San Diego Padres 4-3 Monday night to snap a season-worst four-game
losing streak.

"Not today, y'all. I'm tired," Bonds said, shooing reporters
away from his black leather recliner, where he watched highlights
and talked on the phone.

Bonds has homered in six consecutive games with an at-bat -- he
was intentionally walked as a pinch-hitter Wednesday -- and
connected for the first time this season against the Padres after
failing to hit a longball in three games at Petco Park in the
season's first week.

He got his major league-leading eighth homer this season one
batter after Marquis Grissom hit a two-run shot to left, the first
time this season the Giants have hit back-to-back homers.

"If I remember, he was supposed to be worried about
something," manager Felipe Alou said, referring to a steroid
controversy surrounding Bonds and his personal trainer. "He feels
good. He's out there every day. He's going to be there the next few
days. ... None of Barry's home runs surprise me."

Jerome Williams (2-1) carried a no-hit bid into the fifth before
Khalil Greene's one-out double to left-center broke it up. Williams
still got out of the inning unscathed and pitched 6 2-3 strong
innings, allowing one run and four hits, striking out four and
walking two.

Matt Herges got the first two outs of the ninth before running
into trouble. He gave up three straight hits, including Sean
Burroughs' bloop single that glanced off the glove of charging
center fielder Grissom, allowing Terrence Long to score from
second. Mark Loretta followed Burroughs with a single to chase
Herges.

Jason Christiansen entered and allowed an RBI single to Brian
Giles and the Giants went to Jim Brower. Brower got Phil Nevin to
ground out to first, converting his first save opportunity.

It was the best outing yet for Williams, whose shaky spring
certainly had some fans a little nervous. But the 22-year-old
right-hander received a standing ovation as he walked off the mound
after giving way to Wayne Franklin in the seventh.

Alou said before the game the cool conditions Monday were ideal
for a sinkerball pitcher such as Williams, who last season as a
rookie went 7-5 with a 3.30 ERA, third-lowest among NL rookies.

"I do horrible in rain," Williams said, smiling when told what
the skipper had said. "I just had to fight through it. ... It
feels like I'm kind of back to last year when I won five straight.
I feel really confident."

Bonds, who homered four times in a weekend series against the
Dodgers, lined out to right in the first against David Wells (0-2).
His solo shot in the third made it 4-0. Bonds walked on five
pitches in the fifth, then walked on a full count in the eighth
after fouling away three pitches.

"It's absolutely remarkable what he is doing," Padres manager
Bruce Bochy said. "Once he hit it in that area, I thought it
wouldn't go out because the wind was taking everything to left
field. But he's just that strong. He's the best player in the
game."

Bonds also homered in six straight games twice during the 2001
season when he set the single-season mark with 73 homers -- April
12-18 and again May 17-22. The major league record is eight. Dale
Long did it while with Pittsburgh in 1956. Don Mattingly and Ken
Griffey Jr. did it in the American League.

Jeffrey Hammonds added two doubles for a Giants lineup that
desperately needed some punch after losing three straight games by
one run. Grissom hit his fourth homer of the season and also had an
RBI single in the first to give the Giants the lead.

Ryan Klesko hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth for the Padres, who
began a seven-game road trip.

Wells allowed all four runs on seven hits in six innings.

"I can't get any worse," Wells said. "I can only get better
from here I guess. It's early in the year. I'm going bad right
now."

Game notes
Bonds was named NL Player of the Week after hitting .733
with six home runs and 13 RBI. ... Injured Padres INF Jeff
Cirillo, on the DL with a broken right pointer finger, will have
another X-ray in about a week. He hopes it shows enough healing
that he'll be able to start facing live hitters soon. ... Wells is
the 395th pitcher to surrender a homer to Bonds. ... Brower's save
was the first of his career when he's entered the game in the
ninth. He said he's had several three-inning saves.