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Bonds' homerless streak grows to six games

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Barry Bonds' pursuit of the Babe is headed
to Houston.

The San Francisco slugger's homerless stretch reached six games
Sunday and he remained stalled at 713 and one from tying Babe Ruth
as the Giants concluded a seven-game homestand with a 6-3 loss to
the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.

All those kayaks in McCovey Cove hoping for a historic souvenir
left empty-handed from this homestand.

Bonds, who worked out and received treatment after the game,
uttered all of 20 words before hurrying off to catch the team bus
for the airport -- and he shook his head to answer four questions.

Any reaction to hearing that his skipper thought he was slow in
his final at-bat? Bonds shakes his head no.

Does he need a day off? No.

Is he frustrated? Another no.

Is he disappointed he didn't homer at home? Yes.

"I'm late guys. I gotta go. The bus leaves in five minutes,"
he said.

While manager Felipe Alou said Bonds would likely play only two
of the three games at Houston, Bonds wasn't sure he would need a
break.

"I don't know, as many as I can," Bonds said.

The Dodgers broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth on a two-base throwing
error by reliever Steve Kline (1-1) in which the ball went off Omar
Vizquel's glove and into shallow left as the shortstop covered
third, allowing two runs to score.

Bonds went 0-for-2 with two walks. He drew his 17th intentional
walk of the season in the first, grounded out to the pitcher to end
the third in a six-pitch at-bat, walked again in the sixth and
popped out to third in the eighth before Jason Ellison replaced him
in left field to start the ninth.

"I will say the last at-bat, his bat looked slow," Alou said.
"I'm not going to comment any more about Barry."

The way things are going for Bonds at the plate, he might just
pass Ruth back in Northern California next weekend -- but on the
opposite side of San Francisco Bay in Oakland.

On Monday, the Giants start a three-game series at Houston,
followed by a weekend interleague matchup against the Athletics in
which Alou hopes Bonds will play all three games as designated
hitter.

Houston has given up 37 of Bonds' home runs. The slugger didn't
play in last Monday's makeup game at home with the Astros after the
cross-country flight from Philadelphia.

And Alou wasn't sure whether Bonds would play Monday's series
opener after six straight games that included two day games after
night games.

Bonds is hitless in his last 15 at-bats with seven walks since
his seventh-inning single Tuesday night against former teammate
Scott Eyre of the Chicago Cubs.

Some of his teammates are getting testy with the media herd
following Bonds.

"Who's everyone waiting for?" reliever Tim Worrell asked while
walking by Bonds' locker. "He didn't do anything."

Jeff Kent broke a 1-1 tie with a solo home run to left in the
sixth -- but had the ball thrown back onto the field by his former
fans who booed him at every opportunity. It was his second homer in
as many games and sixth of the season. Olmedo Saenz hit a sacrifice
fly in the fourth to drive in the Dodgers' first run.

Jae Seo seemed like a legitimate candidate to become the 420th
different pitcher to surrender a home run to Bonds considering the
right-hander came into his seventh start of the year having given
up eight homers in 33 innings -- and pitched Sunday on the heels of
his shortest 2006 outing of 3 1-3 innings last Tuesday against the
Astros.

Nomar Garciaparra extended his hitting streak to nine games with
an RBI single in the eighth, the eighth straight game he's driven
in a run. Rafael Furcal singled in a run in the ninth.

Mike Matheny blooped a tying RBI single off Odalis Perez (4-1) --
pitching in relief for the first time since Sept. 30, 2001, with
Atlanta -- in the seventh. Perez has two career relief victories.
Joe Beimel pitched two innings for his first career save.

The lefty got Bonds out all three times they faced off, twice
Friday and once Sunday, and has held him to 1-for-8 with 2 walks
and one homer -- in 2001 -- in his career against the seven-time NL
MVP.

"Both times I faced him I had a pretty good lead," Beimel
said. "The last thing on my mind is to worry about giving up a
home run, because if he hits it we still have a lead. If I come in
and start messing around with him and pitching around him and put a
couple of guys on, that's when bad things start to happen."

Ray Durham, who returned from a hamstring injury Friday night,
hit a solo home run leading off the ninth for the Giants.

Jason Schmidt didn't allow a hit until Kenny Lofton's single to
left-center leading off the fourth, but failed to earn a decision
after winning his previous three starts. He walked Jose Cruz Jr. in
the second after not walking a batter in 23 straight innings since
April 28 against Arizona -- going two starts without issuing a free
pass.

Bonds batted third in the order for the second straight day in a
move Alou plans to stick with indefinitely.

The chants of "Barry! Barry!" immediately changed to boos
after he took three straight balls in the first, then catcher
Russell Martin stuck out his glove calling for the intentional
walk.

Bonds stepped into the batter's box with one out in the sixth
and Randy Winn on first following a leadoff single and walked on
five pitches -- with some fans on their feet and yelling "Beat
L.A.! Beat L.A.!"

Alou, who turned 71 on Friday, said the craziness surrounding
Bonds isn't getting to him at all. He's not sure what to expect in
Houston -- but realizes the media frenzy will follow the team to
Texas.

"I like this, man. I like a lot of people," he said. "I like
controversy. I like storms. Any time we have hurricanes in Florida,
I wish I were there. I'm not the eye, but I am the mouth of the
storm. Look around and I'm the guy who has to answer a lot of this
stuff."

Los Angeles has allowed the third-most home runs to Bonds of any
team with 62, behind San Diego's 82 and 63 by the Montreal
Expos/Washington Nationals.

Game notes
Garciaparra has 13 RBI during his streak. ... The Giants
sold out for the third straight day and fourth time this season.
The 42,984 fans Sunday marked the largest day-game crowd in the
seven seasons the stadium has been open. It also was the largest
attendance for a three-game series: 128,733.