Bonds exits early after tying Mays

Bonds ties Mays on RBI list

SAN DIEGO -- Giants slugger Barry Bonds hit his 724th homer on Wednesday night leading off the second inning at PETCO Park against Padres right-hander Chan Ho Park, but had to leave the game four innings later with recurring inflammation in his left elbow.

His 1,903rd career RBI tied him with his godfather, Willie Mays, for seventh on the all-time list or ninth if you count Cap Anson and Ty Cobb, whose career totals include RBIs that were achieved before that stat became official in 1920.

Bonds batted three times and left after he hit in the top of the sixth inning after feeling discomfort in the same elbow that has been bothering him since he sustained the injury swinging in the batting cage during the final week of Spring Training. Bonds has a number of bone chips floating around in that elbow.

"The elbow is a little sore and I didn't want to take any chances," said Bonds on his way out of the clubhouse just after the Giants defeated the Padres, 7-5, in 13 innings. "It's the same thing that's been bothering me all year. Sometimes it just flares up."

He left the stadium with a sleeve covering the elbow.

The homer was his 16th of the season, but first since Aug. 4, and leaves Bonds second on the all-time list, nine behind Hank Aaron's National League record of 733 and 31 short of the Hammer's overall record of 755. It also added to his record total as a left-handed hitter.

Bonds has been struggling on the Giants' current 10-game road trip, and he came into Wednesday night's game hitting only 3-for-23 with two RBIs since the excursion began on Aug. 7 at Arizona. Bonds only has four homers and 15 RBIs since the All-Star break, and 50 RBIs on the season.

Bonds wasn't scheduled to play in Thursday afternoon's series closer here anyway, and manager Felipe Alou said the slugger will be evaluated on Friday in San Francisco before the Giants play a night game against the Dodgers.

"It's an inflamed elbow," Alou said. "We don't know how bad it is. We'll have to take a closer look at it when we get home, but I expect him to play on Friday night."

In San Francisco, the federal government unsealed documents on Wednesday indicating that the U.S. Attorney will seek to send Greg Anderson, Bonds' former trainer, back to jail when the latest grand jury reconvenes for its weekly session on Thursday.

Anderson has refused on four different occasions to testify before federal grand juries investigating whether Bonds lied under oath when he testified in late 2003 during the investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) that he didn't knowingly use steroids. And he's expected to again take that position on Thursday.

"I will not ever make statements about other people," Anderson said in a June 23 statement filed by prosecutors with the court, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday. "That has always been my position and will continue to be."

Last month, Anderson spent two weeks in jail after he was found in contempt for not testifying. Anderson was released from jail only hours after the last grand jury expired, and the U.S. Attorney declined to seek an indictment against Bonds at that point.

If Anderson is again found in contempt, he can be sent back to jail for the 18-month term of the grand jury, or until a judge decides to free him if it is determined he never will testify.

Bonds seemed undaunted about all that on Wednesday, and only answered a few questions about his elbow as he left the ballpark.

to the babe and beyond

The homer, a high drive to right field, was his eighth career shot against Park, who, as a member of the Dodgers, allowed Bonds' record-breaking 71st homer and No. 72 only two innings later in 2001, the year Bonds set the single-season record with 73. That ties Park with Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Curt Schilling and Terry Mulholland for the most homers allowed to Bonds by a single pitcher. Bonds has hit homers off a record 429 pitchers during his 22-year career.

He now has 84 homers against the Padres, far and away the most he has hit against any single club, with 42 of them coming in San Diego -- 39 at Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium and three at the new park, which opened in time for the 2004 season.

Mays hit 660 career homers, but Bonds passed him early in the 2004 season to go into third on the all-time list. This past May 28, Bonds took it a step higher and passed Babe Ruth at 714 to go into second. At this juncture, Bonds leads Mays in every offensive category except triples, total hits and lifetime batting average.

Alou, who played with Mays during his playing days in San Francisco, said that any milestone Bonds reaches at this point is special, particularly ones held by Mays.

"Every time this guy gets a hit or a homer or an RBI, he's going to tie somebody or get close to somebody," Alou said. "He's a great player. Of course, the ones that include Willie are more significant because they are so close. It's great for Barry and it's great for the Giants."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.