San Francisco The Padres were in a perfect situation to challenge Barry Bonds: a three-run lead in the eighth inning with nobody on base.
Giants fans got what they came to see, and now Bonds is two home runs from tying the Babe.
Bonds hit his 712th homer in San Francisco's 5-3 loss to San Diego on Tuesday, moving him even closer to matching Babe Ruth's total for second place on the career list.
Bonds sent a full-count, 96 mph fastball from Scott Linebrink over the center-field wall for a solo shot that traveled an estimated 440 feet. Linebrink became the 419th pitcher to surrender a home run to Bonds.
"The fast ones I'm able to see. The slower ones I'm missing," Bonds said, smiling. "He challenged me one time too many."
The seven-time NL MVP, as popular as ever in his home ballpark despite the steroids accusations surrounding him, came home to chants of "Barry! Barry!" and a loud standing ovation - and he gave the fans a wave before disappearing into the dugout. His home-run total flashed on the scoreboard between innings.
Braves 5, Rockies 4
Atlanta - Marcus Giles had four hits, including a run-scoring double with two outs in the eighth inning that gave Atlanta its third straight victory.
Astros 8, Brewers 5
Milwaukee - Fernando Nieve pitched seven innings to earn his first major-league win, and Houston roughed up Brewers ace Ben Sheets. Sheets (1-3) gave up nine hits and seven runs in 21â3 innings in one of the worst outings of his career.
Nationals 6, Mets 2
New York - Alfonso Soriano hit a long two-run homer, and Mike O'Connor stymied New York for his first major-league win.
Diamondbacks 10, Dodgers 8
Phoenix - Chad Tracy's first career grand slam sparked a seven-run fifth inning to lead Arizona.
Phillies 7, Marlins 5
Miami - Aaron Rowand hit a bases-loaded triple to cap Philadelphia's latest comeback, and the Phillies beat Florida to give Jon Lieber his first victory of the season.
Reds 3, Cardinals 2
Cincinnati - Javier Valentin's ninth-inning single over a drawn-in infield gave Cincinnati a two-game sweep.
Pirates 8, Cubs 0
Chicago - Zach Duke allowed five hits, pitching his first major-league shutout.