Bonds hit his 26th home run of the season to break Hank Aaron's National League mark of 733 home runs. The hit contributed to the Giants' comeback effort, down 6-1 when Bonds bounced a ball off the top of the right field wall. The Giants would take the lead only to blow it again late. Losing to Aaron's old team in Milwaukee by the final score of 10-8 takes something away from the moment.
Noah Lowry is winless since the series in Cincinnati, taking a nosedive from his outstanding month of August to plunge into three straight losses in September. Counting Saturday's game he has allowed twenty five earned runs in four starts this month. The Brewers scored five runs against him in the first inning and added another run in the second inning to put the Giants in a serious hole early.
The left-hander settled down and retired ten batters in a row without allowing another run over five innings pitched.
Chris Capuano went as Lowry did, in reverse. He started the game for Milwaukee looking for only his second win of the second half of the season. He won ten games in the first half and made the NL All-Star roster. Bonds had two hits against him including the home run. Randy Winn went 3-for-5 with three doubles and Moises Alou hit a towering fly ball out to left with a runner on second to bring the Giants closer to the lead.
Alou had two doubles to go with his home run and would score an insurance run from second on a pair of groundouts.
San Francisco's bullpen fell apart quickly and let this game get away quite literally. Leads are tenuous with this relief corps and despite how well Brian Wilson pitched after Lowry, the right-handed reliever walked two hitters to open the bottom of the seventh inning and allowed a run to score.
Billy Sadler faced one batter and gave up a ground rule double. Before the Giants could thank the deity of their choice for the lucky break, Felipe Alou changed pitchers again. Jack Taschner came into the game and threw a wild pitch allowing David Bell to score from third, tying the score at eight runs each.
If poor pitching is responsible for the team falling on hard times, add poor fielding to the litany of blame. Sure handed fielders Bonds and Alou dropped fly balls and both errors led to runs for Milwaukee. Alou's miscue gave the Brewers an additional run after they went ahead in the eighth inning, scoring again off Taschner.
The Giants will need to win Sunday to avoid getting swept out of town, and to collect more than just the one win on this road trip. Matt Cain will try to bounce back from a terrible start against Colorado, and he will oppose Ben Sheets, Milwaukee's oft-injured ace.
Notes: Foul balls did a number on Giants players. Todd Greene left the game in the third inning with a bruised thigh from a foul ball. Ray Durham fouled one off his knee and left following his sixth inning at-bat. Eliezer Alfonzo has had a rough time on the road, getting hit in the head with a foul tip in Denver. Saturday evening he replaced Greene in the game and took a rocket foul ball to the groin. He was visibly shaken but remained in the game... Aaron's former National League record looks deceptive to those who don't remember the brief time the Brewers changed leagues. 22 of Aaron's 755 homers came as a member of an AL squad... Bonds' error was only his third all year.
SFDugout's Player of the Game: Before Bonds can think about the magic mark of 755, he has to make a few stops along his historical path. He tied and broke the league record in the city the previous record holder called home. Bonds makes it easy to write stories about him and he deserves recognition for his record-breaking performance.
Chris has been a Giants fan since her days in utero. She loves baseball and writes about whatever she can get her hands on…even the Athletics. She's a Bay Area gal through and through. Love/hate mail can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, where the love mail gets top priority and the hate mail gets used for kindling.