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Giant swings come up short

By Times Staff
Published April 4, 2006


SAN DIEGO - The only way Barry Bonds got the ball out of the yard was by bouncing a ground-rule double.

Not so for Mike Piazza and Khalil Greene, who homered to lead the defending NL West champion San Diego Padres to a 6-1 win over Bonds and the San Francisco Giants.

Piazza homered in his first at-bat with the Padres in the second inning and Greene hit a two-run shot into the second deck in left - practically over Bonds' head - in the sixth. Greene finished with three RBIs.

Bonds did come out swinging, driving the first pitch he saw from ace Jake Peavy into center field leading off the second, missing a homer by about 20 feet. The ball bounced over the fence into the Padres' bullpen. Bonds scored on Lance Niekro's two-out single.

Under investigation by baseball for alleged steroid use, Bonds entered the season with 708 homers, needing seven to pass Babe Ruth for second place and 48 to break Hank Aaron's record. He's hit 81 off the Padres, his most against any team.

The crowd at Petco Park booed Bonds every chance it got - during pre-game introductions, when he went to left field in the first inning, when he caught Dave Roberts' slicing liner for the Padres' first out, when he came to bat leading off the second, when he scored and even when he chased down a double in the second.

Bonds finished 1-for-4. With two outs in the sixth and a runner on second, Bonds flied out to center.

Piazza tied the game leading off the second by driving a 1-0 pitch from Jason Schmidt over the fence in right-center to tie the game at 1.