Learned Their Lesson? Yanks Walk Bonds Four Times

On Saturday, Barry Bonds hit one of the farthest home runs in Yankee Stadium History, blasting a towering shot into the right field upper deck seats. One day later, the Yankees apparently learned their lesson - the only way to beat him is to avoid him. In a match-up of future hall of famers, Yankee ace Roger Clemens avoided Bonds all day, as he hit him once on his elbow guard, and walked him three times.

Nick Johnson put the Yanks on top for good with a two run double, as the Yanks defeated the San Francisco Giants 4-2 to take the three game series.

Bonds tied the record for the most intentional walks in a single game, with three in the ball game. In the first inning, Clemens walked Bonds on five pitches. However, Bonds scored on a double by Benito Santiago to give the Giants an early 1-0 lead.

The Yanks tied the game in the bottom of the first with an RBI single by Robin Ventura that scored Jason Giambi.

In the third, Clemens nailed Bonds on his plastic arm guard with an inside fastball. Bonds paused at home plate while staring at Clemens, presumably amused, before heading to first base. In his next three at bats, Bonds was intentionally walked each time, to the ire of the home crowd, who probably wanted the Yankee pitchers to challenge Bonds.

Two innings later, Clemens got into trouble when Pedro Feliz led off with a single to left field. After advancing to second on a bunt, Rich Aurilia hit a deep shot over the head of center fielder Bernie Williams that bounced into the stands, which scored Feliz to give the Giants a 2-1 lead.

After a shaky first inning, Giants starter Russ Ortiz dominated the Yanks, allowing just one hit in the next six innings while striking out eight. In the eighth inning, Felix Rodriguez replaced Ortiz. After Rodriguez allowed a walk to Jason Giambi and a single to Jorge Posada, reliever Robb Nen came in to try to record the save. Nen, the Giants dependable closer, faltered in the final game of the series and clearly did not have his best stuff. With runners on first and second with two outs, Nick Johnson blasted a 1-2 pitch over the head of former Met Tsuyoshi Shinjo, which gave the Yanks the lead for good.

Rondell White added an insurance run with a sharp grounder between the third basemen and shortstop that scored Johnson, giving the Yanks a 4-2 lead.

Roger Clemens earned his 8th win of the year, while giving up two earned runs and seven hits while striking out 9. Clemens was not spectacular, but pitched well enough to keep the Yanks in the game. While some may claim Clemens is a head hunter and a dirty player, he is merely trying to protect the inside of the plate, especially in reference to Bonds, who practically hovers over the inside part of the plate with his plastic elbow protector.

Steve Karsay filled in for the injured Mariano Rivera, and pitched the 9th inning for his second save of the season.

Up next for the Yanks is a rematch of last year's World Series, while they try to avenge last year's loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks during a three game homestand. In game one, the Yanks will face Randy Johnson (9-1, 2.56 ERA). Sterling Hitchcock (1-0, 6.00) takes the mound for the Yanks.

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