Barry Bonds’ timing perfect for Giants

SAN FRANCISCO, California, Reuters

Barry Bonds’ 500th home run could not have come at a better time for the San Francisco Giants.

Bonds’ became the 17th player to reach the historic plateau with a two-run homer in the eighth inning that lifted the Giants to a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bonds, who had been hitless in his previous three at-bats, launched a 2-0 pitch from reliever Terry Adams (0-1) into McCovey’s Cove, the body of water behind right field at Pac Bell Park named for San Francisco’s Hall of Fame first baseman Willie McCovey.

After his historic home run, Bonds was joined on the field by McCovey and Hall of Fame outfielder Willie Mays, who also is Bonds’ godfather. Bonds has homered in five straight games and redemeed himself for a costly error he made in the Giants’ loss to Milwaukee on Sunday.

The lead San Francisco claimed on Bonds’ sixth home run of the season was almost erased when closer Robb Nen allowed a runner to reach third base with none out. Nen got Marquis Grissom to ground out with the infield drawn in and struck out the final two batters for his third save.

Felix Rodriguez (1-0) recorded two strikeouts in a perfect eighth inning for his first victory.

On a freezing day at Wrigley Field, the Philadelphia Phillies cooled off Jeff Fassero and the Chicago Cubs for a 6-3 victory on Tuesday.

Pat Burrell lined a two-run double off Fassero to highlight a four-run ninth inning as the Phillies rallied for a win that snapped the Cubs’ five-game winning streak.

Monday’s series opener was postponed because of snow and it was only a little warmer by game time on Tuesday.

The conditions got the best of Fassero (0-1), one of baseball’s biggest early surprises, who had been successful in each of his first six save opportunities.

In Cinncinnati, the Reds got bad news regarding Ken Griffey Jr, but their bullpen gave manager Bob Boone something to smile about.

Four relievers combined on three hitless innings as the Reds stretched their winning streak to four games with a 3-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. After Dennys Reyes and Scott Sullivan (1-1) combined to retire the Brewers in the top of the eighth inning, the Reds scratched for the go-ahead run in the bottom half.

The Reds learned earllier that Griffey will remain limited to pinch-hitting, possibly for weeks, after an MRI revealed a tear in his left hamstring. In New York, Glendon Rusch pitched seven scoreless innings and Todd Zeile homered and drove in three runs as the Mets posted a 4-0 victory over the Montreal Expos.

Zeile belted a two run homer in the third off Chris Peters and drove in another run with a single in the seventh as the Mets won back-to-back games for the first time this season.

In Atlanta, Charles Johnson batted a home run to break a seventh-inning tie and Vladimir Nunez pitched seven strong innings for the Marlins in a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves at chilly Turner Field.

The Marlins had dropped their previous five one-run games this season, including a 4-3 setback in the series opener on Monday.

Nunez (1-1), making his second start of the season, allowed two runs and four hits with four walks and five strikeouts.

In St. Louis, Jay Bell had four hits, including a homer, scored twice and driove in a pair of runs to spearhead an offensive assault as the Arizona Diamondbacks pasted the St. Louis Cardinals, 17-4.

Reggie Sanders and David Dellucci homered and drove in three runs apiece as Arizona pounded out 18 hits.

Luis Gonzalez hit his major league-leading 10th home run for the Diamondbacks, who scored at least two runs in each of the first five innings and led 15-1 at one point.

The San Diego Padres dominated Colorado in a three-game sweep earlier this month but on Tuesday, the Rockies exacted a small measure of revenge with a 9-5 victory.

Larry Walker’s two-run homer highlighted a five-run seventh inning and Juan Uribe drove in three runs for Rockies.

The Rockies were outscored, 35-19, by San Diego in a three-game series on April 4-8, but Tuesday’s was their third straight win.

Walker hit his seventh homer of the season, off Padres reliever Brian Lawrence, to give Colorado a 6-2 lead.