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08/05/07 3:45 AM ET
Padres walk off winners on Bonds' night
Greene's 12th-inning single caps historic game
By Sandy Burgin / Special to MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- Barry Bonds has hit more home runs against the San Diego Padres than any other team, so perhaps it was fitting that Bonds would hit No. 755 off the Friars' Clay Hensley on Saturday night at PETCO Park, tying Hank Aaron's all-time record. Despite all the Bonds drama, the Padres kept their pedal to the metal and beat the Giants, 3-2, on Khalil Greene's bases-loaded single off Randy Messenger (1-4) in the bottom of the 12th inning. Marcus Giles had drawn a walk to open the inning. He promptly stole second, his ninth steal of the season and was sacrificed to third on a bunt by Mike Cameron. Josh Bard and Adrian Gonzalez were both walked intentionally, loading the bases and setting the stage for the final drama of the night as Greene lined his game-winner to center, scoring Giles. Cla Meredith (4-5) got the win pitching a scoreless 12th inning. The Padres new home run king -- Scott Hairston -- made his presence felt while making his own history. Hairston began Saturday night's game the way he finished Friday night's game -- hitting a solo home run -- as the Padres jumped off to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Giants left-hander Patrick Misch. It was Hairston's third homer in his last three at-bats as he became just the seventh Padres player to hit home runs in three successive at-bats and the fourth player in the Majors to do it this season. In fact, Hairston's homer went farther than Bonds', going over the facade in left field, 418 feet compared to Bonds' 382-foot drive. Bonds hit his record-tying homer on a 2-1 pitch off Hensley leading off the second inning. Hensley became the 445th pitcher to give up a home run to Bonds, who had gone 26 plate appearances without a homer. "I think we started to do [with Barry] what we said we'd do from the beginning," said Hensley. "We were just going to go at him and pitch at him. In the situation, I obviously wasn't trying to leave the pitch up. But he hit a fastball that was up. It was actually off the plate, really off the plate, but it was high and it was up, and he went with the pitch. "I felt like I played it the right way. I felt like I played the game the right way tonight. First and foremost, we're trying to win a ballgame, and I'm not trying to get too wrapped up in historical pieces. I went after him. He got the pitch. He's a good hitter; that's what he does if you leave a ball up." Bonds scored the Giants' second run in the top of the fourth. He drew a walk leading off and went to third on a double by Ryan Klesko. Bengie Molina hit a grounder to short to score Bonds as the Giants took a 2-1 lead. The Padres tied the game in the bottom of the fifth when Hairston got his third hit of the game, a single, and scored on a triple by Cameron that sent Misch to the showers. Hairston suffered a bruised left foot when he fouled off a pitch just before he got his hit in the fifth and left the game in the sixth after striking out. As for facing Bonds, who walked his next three at-bats, manger Bud Black said, "Our intention was to pitch to him. The Padres are playing a baseball game. We're not just going to put guys on base just to put men on base. At this point, we feel our pitchers are capable of getting Barry out. You saw that [Friday] night. Not once in these two games did we say, 'Hey, be extra careful to Barry.'" While Bonds was on base four times and scored twice, Hensley and seven Padres relievers were able to shut down the rest of the Giants. Justin Hampson, Doug Brocail, Kevin Cameron, Heath Bell, Trevor Hoffman, Wil Ledezma and finally Meredith did yeoman work out of the pen. The Giants used five relievers before the Padres finally got to Messenger.
Sandy Burgin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.