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Bonds Hits 68th In Giants' Win, Moves Within Two Of McGwire's Mark
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 09/29/2001
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Sept 29, 2001

By The Associated Press

Somber and withdrawn following the death of his former bodyguard, Barry Bonds released his emotions by hitting his 68th home run.

"It just felt good to do something for him, to just be able to do something on a day you really wanted to do something," Bonds said after his drive Friday night helped the San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres 10-5. "I got through today, and that's the most important thing. I'm fine with it now, and I can move on."

Moments after he emphatically pointed skyward with both arms as he crossed home plate, the slugger shed tears on the bench.

"I lose one of my best friends yesterday," he said before the game. "Whenever I want to enjoy it for a minute, something happens."

Bonds hit a deep drive to right-center on a 3-0 pitch from San Diego rookie Jason Middlebrook (1-1), who has yielded three homers to Bonds in six days. With eight games remaining, Bonds is two homers shy of the record Mark McGwire set three years ago.

In other games it was Arizona 4, Los Angeles 3 in 11 innings, Atlanta 5, New York 3, Florida 6, Philadelphia 5 in 10 innings, Chicago 6, Houston 2, St. Louis 14, Pittsburgh 3, Montreal 7, Cincinnati 6, and Colorado 6, Milwaukee 5.

At San Francisco, the Giants (85-69) remained three games behind St. Louis (88-66) in the wild card race and two games behind NL West-leading Arizona.

Shawn Estes (9-8) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings, striking out eight in his first victory since July 29.

Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 3

Mark Grace hit a tying single in the eighth at Phoenix and Luis Gonzalez led off the 11th with his 54th home run, a drive off Mike Trombley (0-4).

Los Angeles dropped six games behind the Diamondbacks.

Mike Morgan (1-0) won in relief of Curt Schilling, the winningest pitcher in the majors at 21-6. Schilling allowed three runs and seven hits in eight innings.

Braves 5, Mets 3

Andruw Jones and Javy Lopez each hit two-run homers as Atlanta won the opener of a three-game series at Turner Field, taking a two-game lead over second-place Philadelphia and a four-game lead over New York.

Tom Glavine (15-7) allowed two runs in six innings and Julio Franco added a solo homer off Steve Trachsel (10-13). The Braves are seeking their 10th straight division title.

Marlins 6, Phillies 5, 10 innings

Kevin Millar's homer off Cliff Politte (2-3) with one out in the 10th completed Florida's rally from a 5-1 deficit.

Antonio Alfonseca (3-4) pitched a perfect 10th. Five Marlins relievers combined for seven innings of shutout relief.

Phillies closer Jose Mesa let a 5-4 lead slip away in the ninth, his fourth blown save in 42 chances this season. Two singles and a passed ball put runners on first and third with one out, and Eric Owens' sacrifice fly off Mesa tied it at 5.

Cubs 6, Astros 2

Matt Stairs drove in two runs and Sammy Sosa tied the club record for extra-base hits as Chicago held off elimination in the division for at least one more day.

Jon Lieber (19-6) scattered five hits over seven innings at Wrigley Field to become only the second Cubs pitcher in nine years to win 19 games. Ricky Gutierrez, Bill Mueller and Joe Girardi added RBIs for the Cubs, eight games behind Houston in the NL Central.

The Astros' lead in the NL Central fell to three games over St. Louis. The Cubs remained five games behind the Cardinals in the wild card standings.

Cardinals 14, Pirates 3

Edgar Renteria and Miguel Cairo had three RBIs apiece and St. Louis took advantage of five errors.

Mark McGwire hit his first Busch Stadium homer since Aug. 1 and Cairo doubled in three straight at-bats as St. Louis won for the 12th time in 14 games.

Jason Kendall, the Pirates' regular catcher, made his eighth start in right field and made a pair of errors. The Pirates also had throwing errors by second baseman Rob Mackowiak, third baseman Aramis Ramirez and reliever Mike Lincoln.

Expos 7, Reds 6

Brian Schneider's two-out, two-run single off Danny Graves (6-5) in the ninth dropped Cincinnati to 25-51 at Cinergy Field, tying the 1937 Reds for most home losses in franchise history.

Cincinnati also lost another infielder to a season-ending injury. First baseman Sean Casey tore his right calf while running to first base in the third.

Rockies 6, Brewers 5

At Denver, Terry Shumpert hit a tying double and Alex Ochoa, pinch hitting for Jay Powell (5-3), singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth off Curtis Leskanic (2-6).

Jeromy Burnitz hit his sixth home run in a four-game span and doubled twice.

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