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Bonds ties Aaron for NL homer mark

Bonds ties Aaron's NL mark

MILWAUKEE -- The Giants' big man is healthy once more, and opposing pitchers are paying the price.

Barry Bonds hit career homer 733 on Friday night at Miller Park, tying Hank Aaron for the National League's all-time home run record, and the slugger appreciated the fact the 403-foot blast came in the city where the legendary Hammerin' Hank last stepped foot on a diamond.

The record-tying shot off Milwaukee reliever Chris Spurling in the sixth inning was Bonds' 25th four-bagger of the season and leaves him 22 homers shy of Aaron's Major League mark of 755 career homers. Aaron also slugged 22 homers over two seasons with the American League Milwaukee Brewers in 1975-76.

"Yeah, it is nice, it's great," said a low-key Bonds of tying Aaron's mark in the city where the latter played. "It's a big deal because it's the National League -- it's the only league I've ever been in.

"It's a new ballpark, though, and it would have been cool in the old ballpark because it was actually where he played," said Bonds. "Nevertheless, it's still in Milwaukee, so it's nice."

The blast boosted the Giants into a temporary 11-10 lead but they eventually succumbed, 13-12. Bonds' six RBIs tied a season high for San Francisco.

"We're just trying to win and right now we just made our life more difficult," he said.

There was no great to-do about Bonds tying the record, but it was acknowledged on the scoreboard after the player was greeted by teammates in the Giants dugout.

"They knew about the record," said Bonds of his mates. "Guys are great here -- great teammates, just wonderful."

Bonds, who boasts 557 homers in a Giants uniform, has been on an offensive tear over his last 26 games, hitting .400 with nine homers, and he had already doubled twice and driven in three runs prior to the three-run shot off Spurling.

to the babe and beyond

"I feel better, my knee is obviously better," said the 42-year-old Bonds. "I've been out there a lot of games and overcome the surgeries and stuff. Now I have to fix my elbow and I'll be OK -- that's the last thing."

Asked about returning to San Francisco next season to make a final run at Aaron's all-time homer record of 755, Bonds said, "I only think I want to go home after the season. I'm not thinking about next year. I want to go home and watch my son's football games."

Milwaukee manager Ned Yost knows how dangerous Bonds is despite his age.

"He's back," Yost said. "He's been very, very hot."

Bonds' homer was his ninth clout in his last 20 games, and he is now hitting .272 for the year.

Giants manager Felipe Alou was suspended for the game due to pitcher Jamey Wright hitting Colorado's Matt Holliday at Coors Field in the last series, but bench coach Ron Wotus put Bonds and his record into perspective.

"It means a lot to the game and for us," said Wotus. "Everybody in that rooms that plays alongside him -- to be able to tie that record is pretty special. I've watched him a long time and he's certainly one of the greatest, if not the greatest, player I've ever seen play.

"It was nice to see him do it -- there's no guarantees in this life or in this game."

Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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