Bonds hits his 722nd homer, Santos his 1st
SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds did what he does best: Step into the batter's box, forget all the off-field distractions and hit a baseball over the fence.
Bonds hit his 722nd career home run hours after the federal grand jury considering possible perjury and tax-evasion charges against him expired without an indictment.
Unfazed by Bonds' legal issues, Noah Lowry pitched eight strong innings and Chad Santos, a Saint Louis School alum from Hawai'i, hit first career home run as the Giants beat the San Diego Padres, 9-3, last night.
Bonds also hit a sacrifice fly in a three-run fifth inning, struck out and walked. The investigation into Bonds is still ongoing, but it now appears less likely that an indictment would have an impact on Bonds and the Giants this season.
"Well, he's here," manager Felipe Alou said. "He's with us and hitting home runs. There's a lot of stuff happening in this world today, including Barry hitting one out of here. People had a good time seeing him hit it."
Bonds' two-run shot started a string of three straight homers off reliever Brian Sweeney in the eighth inning. Ray Durham hit the next pitch for his 16th homer, then Pedro Feliz followed with another — the first time since Aug. 3, 2004, against Cincinnati, that the Giants hit three consecutive homers.
Sweeney became the 428th pitcher to surrender a homer to Bonds, who got another chance in the at-bat after catcher Mike Piazza fell down trying to catch a popup in foul territory and dropped the ball for an error.
"That was a rough one for Sweeney," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "We couldn't hold on to a foul popup. We made some mistakes and they took advantage of it."
Bonds, who left the ballpark without talking to reporters, moved within 33 home runs of tying Hank Aaron's all-time record of 755 with his 14th of the season.
Lowry (5-6), who has been struggling to find a groove after missing a month with a strained side muscle, took a shutout into the ninth inning before being replaced after Josh Barfield's RBI single with one out. Dave Roberts added a two-run single off Kevin Correia and Lowry was charged with all three runs.
DIAMONDBACKS 5, DODGERS 2
Carlos Quentin, called up from Triple-A Tucson earlier in the day, homered in his major league debut, and Brandon Webb (11-3) allowed two runs and seven hits over eight innings for his third straight victory as host Arizona beat Los Angeles.
PIRATES 5, MARLINS 3
Jeromy Burnitz's RBI single through a drawn-in infield broke a 3-all tie in the ninth inning, Jack Wilson added a two-out RBI double, and Mike Gonzalez pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth to remain perfect in 16 save opportunities as Pittsburgh rallied past Florida.
METS 4, REDS 2
Endy Chavez broke a 2-all tie with an RBI double off Gary Majewski (3-3) in the top of the 10th inning and Carlos Beltran capped the rally with a run-scoring double off Kent Mercker, leading New York past Cincinnati.
CUBS 4, ASTROS 1
Carlos Zambrano (10-3) gave up one run and two hits in eight innings with 10 strikeouts to win his seventh straight decision, and Michael Barrett and Aramis Ramirez hit back-to-back homers in the third inning off Andy Pettitte (8-10) to lead host Chicago over Houston.
ROYALS 9, ANGELS 4
Joey Gathright scored from third on first baseman Kendry Morales' fielding error to break a 4-all tie in the sixth, and host Kansas City added three more runs in seventh sparked by another error to beat Los Angeles.
BLUE JAYS 5, YANKEES 4
Vernon Wells hit a one-out homer in the bottom of the 11th inning, the first homer allowed by Mariano Rivera (4-5) this season, and first since Bill Mueller did it for the Boston Red Sox on July 24, 2004, as Toronto defeated New York.
TIGERS 2, WHITE SOX 1
Marcus Thames' hard takeout slide broke up a potential, inning-ending double play in the seventh inning and Chris Shelton followed with a go-ahead double as host Detroit beat Chicago to open a season-high 5 1/2-game lead in the Central Division.
TWINS 6, DEVIL RAYS 4
Johan Santana (11-5) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings, and Jason Tyner, Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer hit run-scoring singles in a four-run bottom of the fifth for a 5-3 lead as Minnesota beat Tampa Bay for its seventh straight victory.
RED SOX 6, RANGERS 4
Curt Schilling (12-3) allowed four runs and a season-high 10 hits over seven innings, Mark Loretta had an RBI single to break a 4-all tie in the sixth, and Jason Varitek hit a run-scoring double in the seventh to lead host Boston past Texas for its fourth straight win.