Barry Bonds’ 749th home run wasn’t nearly enough to overcome another big night from Alex Rodriguez.
Rodriguez went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and the New York Yankees beat the Giants 7-3 Friday night in their first meaningful game in San Francisco since winning Game 7 of the 1962 World Series.
Bonds got the longball, but A-Rod got the win in the matchup between two of baseball’s most feared sluggers.
“I’d take two more (Bonds homers) and two more wins,” Rodriguez said. “I’ll trade that. I’m a huge Barry fan. I love to see great talent be displayed. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. As long as we win the game, he can do whatever he wants.”
The talk before the game was of the two sluggers: Bonds as he closes in on Hank Aaron’s career record of 755 home runs and Rodriguez, the player many consider the biggest threat to hold the record after Bonds.
Bonds connected for his 15th home run of the season in the eighth inning off Scott Proctor, cutting New York’s lead to 6-3. But the Giants couldn’t get any closer, dropping their season-high eighth straight game.
“I don’t think we’re thinking that much about Barry trying to reach this milestone as trying to win a ballgame,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s our focus right now. We need to stop this and we know it.”
Rodriguez helped the Yankees bounce back after they were swept in a three-game series in Colorado. His double started a three-run second inning and he also hit RBI singles in the fifth and ninth innings.
Kei Igawa, making his first start after seven weeks in the minors, was sharp early but was removed one out away from a potential win after walking Bonds with the bases loaded to cut New York’s lead to 5-2 in the fifth inning. Luis Vizcaino (4-1) came in and Bengie Molina hit a drive to left field that Hideki Matsui caught as he jumped into the fence, robbing the Giants of an extra-base hit.
Matsui’s catch was the turning point of the game.
Every team ahead of the Yanks in the wildcard lost tonight, so they’re 5.5 back and tied with Minnesota.
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