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08/05/07 5:04 AM ET
Giants' loss dampens Bonds' big blow
Homer No. 755 comes in extra-innings defeat in San Diego
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- Patrick Misch's first Major League start would have been a memorable occasion under any circumstance. Then Barry Bonds got involved. Bonds joined Hank Aaron atop history's summit Saturday night by hitting his 755th home run in support of Misch, but the Giants ultimately lost to the San Diego Padres, 3-2, in 12 innings. More than three hours after Bonds matched Aaron's all-time record, the Padres broke a 2-2 tie after Randy Messenger (1-4) walked Marcus Giles leading off the 12th. Giles stole second base, advanced to third on Mike Cameron's sacrifice bunt and waited as Josh Bard and Adrian Gonzalez both drew intentional walks to load the bases. Up came Khalil Greene, whose first-pitch single to center field delivered Giles. It was a big night for Misch nevertheless. Recalled earlier Saturday from Triple-A Fresno to fill the vacancy in the starting rotation created by the Matt Morris trade, Misch recovered from Scott Hairston's first-inning leadoff homer and allowed two runs in five innings. He walked none and struck out eight. "After [Hairston] hit the home run, I focused in and got more comfortable," Misch said. Indeed, Misch struck out the side in the second inning following Bonds' homer. "After Barry hit the home run, I just told myself to go out there and compete," said Misch, who despite his strong outing could be replaced by Russ Ortiz in the rotation. Ortiz is expected to be activated from the disabled list this week. Regardless of what happens, Misch will forever own the distinction of starting the game in which Bonds tied Aaron. "That's unbelievable. That's all I can really say," said Misch, plainly overwhelmed. But, as center fielder Dave Roberts said, "I wish we had a win to go with it." The Giants, who fell to 5-11 in extra-inning decisions, accumulated five hits and had only two of them after the fourth inning. Their first hit came when Bonds led off the second inning by lining Clay Hensley's 2-1 pitch over the left-field barrier, a drive that traveled an estimated 382 feet. Bonds' 21st homer of the season, which interrupted a 2-for-18 skid since his last long ball, also tied the score, 1-1. Bonds, who made Hensley the 445th pitcher to allow a homer to him, put the Giants ahead, 2-1, in the fourth inning by drawing a leadoff walk, moving to third on Ryan Klesko's double and scoring on Bengie Molina's groundout. Bonds walked twice more before leaving the game for a pinch-runner in the eighth inning. San Diego pulled even in the fifth on Hairston's leadoff single and Cameron's triple. But third baseman Pedro Feliz made a brilliant play to douse the threat by making a deft backhand pickup of Bard's grounder up the line and tagging out Cameron.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.