SAN DIEGO - With first base open, a runner on second and Barry Bonds at the plate in the sixth inning of a one-run game, the San Diego Padres had a decision to make.
The thought of walking Bonds never crossed the mind of 24-year-old ace Jake Peavy as he huddled on the mound with pitching coach Darren Balsley and catcher Mike Piazza.
Peavy got Bonds to fly out to center field for the second out, then retired the side en route to a 6-1 win over the San Francisco Giants on Monday.
Balsley “walked up and said, ‘What do you want to do right here?’ ” Peavy said. “I said, ‘I want to pitch to him and get him out.’ And Balsley said, ‘OK.’ Mike said, ‘What do you want?’ I said, ‘Fastball away.’ And we made a fastball down and away, and he got out.”
The Padres have been burned for 81 of Bonds’ 708 career homers, but he didn’t hit one Monday. The only time way he got the ball out of the yard was by bouncing a ground-rule double in the second.
“I mean, I just felt like I could make a good pitch and get him out,” Peavy said. “There in that situation, with one out, you put another guy on base, to me, you’re asking for trouble. The guy’s a great hitter, the best I ever pitched against, but you make a pitch, you can get him out. I felt confident in my ability to make that that pitch. I didn’t want to put any more guys on base.”
Piazza and Khalil Greene homered for the defending NL West champion Padres.
Piazza homered on his first swing with the Padres, leading off the second inning, and Greene Greene hit a two-run shot into the second deck in left — practically over Bonds’ head — in the sixth. Greene finished with three RBIs.
A fan tossed a syringe near Bonds as he came off the field after the bottom of the eighth inning. The syringe apparently did not have a needle. Bonds picked it up with his glove.
“I just put it off the field so no one would get hurt,” said Bonds, who is under investigation by baseball for alleged steroid use.
Bonds did come out swinging, driving the first pitch he saw from Peavy into center field leading off the second, missing a homer by about 20 feet. The ball bounced over the fence into the Padres’ bullpen. Bonds scored on Lance Niekro’s two-out single.
The crowd at Petco Park booed Bonds every chance it got — during pregame introductions, when he went to left field in the first inning, when he caught Dave Roberts’ slicing liner for the Padres’ first out, when he came to bat leading off the second, when he scored and even when he chased down Adrian Gonzalez’s double in the second.
“I felt fine today,” said Bonds, who was 1-for-4.
So the did the Padres.
Piazza tied it leading off the second by driving a 1-0 pitch from Jason Schmidt over the fence in right-center to tie the game at 1. Piazza signed as a free agent in the offseason after his $91 million, seven-year contract with the New York Mets expired.
“Mike announced his presence,” Peavy said.
“It’s a big ballpark. He took a little off down over the plate, and I really got great extension on the ball and I was like, ‘Man, if that doesn’t go out, I might have to consider hanging it up,’ “ Piazza said.
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