Series: Game 2 of 3

San Francisco leads 2-0 (as of 9/15)

Game 1: Tuesday, September 14
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Game 2: Wednesday, September 15
San Francisco8Final
Game 3: Thursday, September 16
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in 10

Giants 8

(81-65, 39-34 away)

Brewers 1

(62-81, 34-39 home)

7:35 PM ET, September 15, 2004

Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

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SF 000003023 8 11 0
MIL 000000010 1 4 1

W: B. Tomko (10-6)

L: W. Obermueller (5-8)

Snow, Cruz slug Giants to easy victory

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Barry Bonds barely missed his 700th homer.

Bonds sent the first pitch he saw to the right-field warning track Wednesday night, then didn't come close again in San Francisco's 8-1 rout of the Milwaukee Brewers.

"He missed his one shot today," Giants manager Felipe Alou said.

Brett Tomko pitched a four-hitter for the Giants, who remained a half-game ahead of the Chicago Cubs in the NL wild-card race.

Bonds went 0-for-4 and is now 0-for-6 with three walks since hitting his 699th homer Sunday in Arizona. He is expected to start Thursday afternoon in the series finale at Miller Park before the Giants return to SBC Park for a nine-game homestand beginning Friday night, Alou said.

Although Bonds didn't go deep, J.T. Snow connected following yet another walk to the San Francisco slugger, then added a two-run double in the ninth. Deivi Cruz also homered to back Tomko (10-6), who won his fifth straight.

Bonds reached on an error in the ninth inning, disappointing the small crowd of 22,228 that cheered wildly when Edgardo Alfonzo drew a two-out walk. Bonds took a big cut at a 3-0 pitch from right-hander Pedro Liriano, and the ball went through first baseman Lyle Overbay's legs.

Bonds was replaced by pinch-runner Dustan Mohr and received a standing ovation as fans rushed for the exits. Snow's two-run double off Liriano made it 7-1. He scored his third run on A.J. Pierzynski's RBI single.

Bonds is one shot shy of joining Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron in the 700-homer club. He almost did it in his first at-bat, sending right-hander Wes Obermueller's first pitch, a letter-high, 92 mph fastball, to the warning track in right field, where Brady Clark caught it a few feet in front of the wall.

Obermueller threw a two-seam fastball down the middle and, with the roof closed to keep out the rain but the outfield panels open, he feared he'd just given up the historic homer.

"That was the best pitch I gave him all night and he about got it but got under it too much," Obermueller said. "I sat there and watched that and was just like, 'Please come down. Please come down.'

"When that guy takes a hack like that and it's that high, you just cross your fingers."

Bonds led off the fourth and grounded a 1-1 pitch to right field, where second baseman Keith Ginter fielded the ball and threw him out. A shifted Ginter also was positioned perfectly Tuesday night to rob Bonds of a hit.

With a runner on first and one out in the sixth, Bonds walked for the 206th time this season. Snow then sent a 1-0 pitch from Obermueller (5-8) into the Giants' bullpen for his 11th home run and a 3-0 lead.

San Francisco also made Milwaukee pay for walking Bonds on Tuesday night, when Alfonzo knocked in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning of a 3-2 victory. In all three innings that Bonds has walked in this series, the Giants scored.

Since Aug. 4, Giants batters immediately following Bonds' walks have hit .396 (19-for-48) with 20 RBI.

Cruz hit a two-run homer, his sixth, off Luis Vizcaino in the eighth to make it 5-0.

Tomko pitched his second career four-hitter. He allowed two singles in the second, then retired 17 straight batters before giving up doubles to Russell Branyan and Gary Bennett in the eighth. The right-hander walked one and struck out seven.

In his last five starts, Tomko is 4-0 with an ERA of 1.00.

"It's a good roll," said Tomko, who also threw a four-hitter Aug. 26 at Florida.

After the game, Bonds slouched on a green leather sofa in the clubhouse, watching the Dodgers-Padres game on a big-screen TV and keeping to himself.

Whenever Bonds does reach 700 homers, Alou said he hopes the milestone will change the public's perception of the surly slugger.

"Some of the great things that this man does would be finally and truly recognized," Alou said.

Milwaukee manager Ned Yost can't fathom why the public doesn't embrace Bonds but said, "I think booing in a visiting park is a great form of respect."

But what about walking Bonds, is that a great form of respect?

Yost doesn't think so. He ordered his pitchers to challenge Bonds whenever possible.

"My whole philosophy is if he's going to hurt you to a point where you can't recover, then you can't pitch to him," Yost said. "Just let common sense rule. In reality, 6.25 times out of 10, he's going to make an out. Statistics say that."

Statistics also say that Bonds will homer once every eight at-bats or so, so that would make him about due Thursday for the historic homer that could make some lucky souvenir seeker rich.

Still, the Brewers said there were plenty of tickets available in the right-field bleachers for the game.

Game notes

Bonds saw 17 pitches and swung at seven. He's seen 39 pitches in the two games at Milwaukee, only four with the catcher signaling for an intentional walk.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press