Two more makes seven homers for Bonds
Henry Schulman - SF Chronicle
Monday, April 2, 2007
Barry Bonds returned to the site of his 714th home run and celebrated by hitting two more in the Giants' 8-5 loss at Oakland on Sunday. Bonds concluded a healthy and productive spring by twice taking left-hander Joe Kennedy deep, a high drive down the right-field line with a man aboard in the first inning and a solo laser to left-center in the third.
Bonds concluded spring training with seven home runs, his highest total since he hit 10 in 2003, before swatting 45 during the regular season and winning the sixth of his seven National League Most Valuable Player awards.
"Unreal," starter Noah Lowry said. "The guy just looks healthy, and when he's healthy the results take care of themselves. It's exciting to see. Hopefully he can stay healthy the whole season and we can see him make history. He's out there in the outfield running balls down. It looks like he has his legs under him. That's going to help him on defense, and of course that will help him at the plate."
General manager Brian Sabean said Bonds seems "locked in and confident, and that's usually a dangerous combo, a confidence-builder for him. I think he really feels good about his physical shape and how far he's come from last year."
Manager Bruce Bochy said he will keep an open mind about how to use Bonds, but he expects Bonds to play some day games after night games. At the same time, Bochy had a telling comment when he said he would not be surprised if Todd Linden plays as many games as the starting outfielders. Linden presumably will start a lot of games when Bonds rests.
"I'll keep him monitored," Bochy said of Bonds. "I'm not going to run him into the ground."
Plea for Benitez: Kevin Frandsen would like fans to give Armando Benitez a rousing welcome before the season opener Tuesday.
"The past is the past. People need to move on," Frandsen said. "We're going to jump on his back in the ninth inning and the fans need to jump on his back too, and not in a bad way. The fans need to give him what he deserves. He deserves some support."
Briefly: Travis Blackley, a starter whom the Giants got for Jason Ellison, pitched four games for Seattle in 2004 but was sidelined by shoulder surgery in 2005 and spent all of 2006 in the minors, going 8-12 with a 4.06 ERA. "Anytime you get a starting pitcher of that ilk, it's interesting," Sabean said. "We're obviously trading a guy who's going to be in the big-leagues. Hopefully this guy is going to do the same." ... Bochy remains fuzzy on who will set up Benitez, suggesting at least initially he will use a number of pitchers in the seventh and eighth inning. ... Russ Ortiz allowed two runs over 8 1/3 innings in a Double-A intrasquad game at the minor-league camp in Scottsdale, Ariz. He stayed back so he could throw 100 pitches on his regular pitching day. In Oakland, Lowry allowed two runs over three innings in his final tuneup.