SAN FRANCISCO -- The record only lasted about 23 hours. In his first at-bat since setting Major League Baseball's all-time homer mark Tuesday night, Giants slugger Barry Bonds one-upped himself Wednesday and began to create some distance from Hank Aaron. His 757th homer, a two-run shot and 23rd of the season, landed halfway across McCovey Cove. "It was much easier [tonight]," Bonds said after the Giants defeated the Nationals, 5-0, making it only the second time they've won during the 10 games in which Bonds has homered since June 11. "I get to just play. There are not as many [media] people around."
The 438-foot "Splash Hit" over the right-field wall off Nationals right-hander Tim Redding was his 35th to reach the cove since AT&T Park opened in 2000 and second of the season. The Giants have hit 45 into the water as a team, and the opposition has hit 14 others. Redding, the starter and loser, was the 447th pitcher to allow at least one homer to Bonds in his 22-year career, the last 15 with the Giants. "It was a great swing. A swing we all know," said the Giants' Bruce Bochy, who won his 1,000th game in his 13 seasons as a big-league manager, the first 12 with the Padres, although his record is 38 games under .500. "The ball was in there and he kept it fair. He's just a great hitter. I think last night with the home run did take a load off of him. He can relax a little bit. He can still flat-out do things that no other player can do and he showed it tonight." It was the first time Bonds has hit homers in successive at-bats since April 13 at Pittsburgh, during his first of a pair of two-homer games this season. He now has three homers in his last four starts, dating back to Saturday night's record-tying shot in San Diego. Through the first inning Wednesday, he had pounded out four consecutive hits -- a double, single and the two homers -- over the course of the last two games. He also walked and grounded out before being lifted after the sixth inning. Bonds eclipsed Aaron's 33-year record of 755 in the fifth inning Tuesday night with his 435-foot homer into the bleachers just right of dead center off Washington left-hander Mike Bacsik. "I'm pretty locked in right now," Bonds said. "Like I've said, I went back to look at some films and remembered some of the things my dad [the late former Giant Bobby Bonds] said. I'm just loading it up right now." The numbers don't lie. After a .186 month of July, Bonds is rolling along at a .333 clip (6-for-18) with three homers and four RBIs during the first eight days of August. But it's been that kind of season. Bonds batted .356 in April, .194 in May and .364 in June before falling off the map again in July. "It seems like every time I get around .270, I get going again," said Bonds, who's back to .280 for the season with 53 RBIs, placing him 17 shy of becoming the third player to reach the 2,000 level in that category. "I can't see myself going below .270." Bonds' .497 on-base percentage, 115 walks and 34 intentional walks all lead the Major Leagues. That's why Bonds reiterated again before the game that he intends to play in 2008. "My numbers are good enough to keep playing," Bonds said. "My numbers are still in the top of whatever in baseball. When I feel my numbers are not good enough for me to be respectable, then I'll shut it down." Not now, though, nor any time soon.
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.