CHICAGO -- Despite 2 homers by Barry Bonds, Cubs beat Giants.
In what could have been his final appearance in Wrigley Field, Barry Bonds did his best Thursday to hurt the Cubs, hitting his 752nd and 753rd career homers and driving in six runs.
The Cubs were hurting as it was. First baseman Daryle Ward left in the second inning because of a strained right calf, and right fielder Cliff Floyd departed in the third because of a sore neck.
That wasn’t enough to hurt the North Siders on the scoreboard, however. Jacque Jones (4 hits), Aramis Ramirez (3 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBI) and Alfonso Soriano (3 hits, 2 runs) inflicted some pain of their own in a 9-8 victory over the Giants.
The Cubs (50-44), who took three of four games in the series from the Giants, have won 18 of their past 23 games and stayed 3½ games behind National League Central-leading Milwaukee.
Left-hander Ted Lilly allowed three runs in five innings but still improved to 10-4. He was won six straight decisions.
Bonds was the subject of boos when he stepped to the plate Thursday, but he received cheers from the Wrigley Field crowd when he homered.
“We lost, they won,” Bonds said. “They get the last laugh; we didn’t win the game.
“They’re (Cubs fans) great. Chicago fans have always been good. They’ve always been that way. When you’re out in left field, you’re going to deal with what you’re going to deal with, and it’s fun. It’s been around basically forever. Cubs fans aren’t going to change, and you respect that."
If it was Bonds’ last game at Wrigley, he put on quite a show.
“We didn’t want to see him in the ninth inning — that I can tell you,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “We won the ballgame and Barry treated the fans to a show.”
“The fans got a double-win today,” Floyd added.
Bonds, who will turn 43 on Tuesday, is two homers away from tying Hank Aaron’s all-time mark of 755. There is speculation that if Bonds becomes the all-time home run king this year, he might retire. It’s also been speculated he could also land with an AL team in 2008 to serve as a designated hitter.
The Giants slugger did not start in the first three games of the series because of leg injuries. He lined out as a pinch hitter during Tuesday’s game.
In the second inning Thursday, Bonds tagged Lilly’s first pitch for a home run — against a 14-mph wind — onto Waveland Avenue. That snapped an 0-for-21 skid for Bonds.
“I tried to get ahead of him with a fastball, and he wouldn’t let me,” Lilly said. “He’s one of the greatest hitters to play. He’s had so much success because guys pitch around him. He’s hit three homers off me in 10 at-bats, so I think my aggressiveness hasn’t worked, either.”
Bonds singled home two runs in the third, then walked and scored in the sixth.
Facing Will Ohman with two on and two outs in the seventh, Bonds launched a three-run homer to the basket in left-center.
That brought the Giants to within 9-8.
“A below-average pitch to a very above-average hitter, and it’s 753,” Ohman said.
As for Ward and Floyd, they will be evaluated today. Ward, who had an MRI late Thursday afternoon, came out of the game after he strained his right calf while trying to catch a popup near the pitcher’s mound. He was starting in place of Derrek Lee, who was serving the second game of a five-game suspension. Mark DeRosa took over at first when Ward exited.
Floyd collided with Giants pitcher Matt Morris during a play at first base. Floyd, who already has Achilles tendon, shoulder and elbow health issues, needed a few minutes to catch his breath and talk with trainer Mark O’Neal. Floyd advanced to second base on a single and scored from second on a passed ball.
Angel Pagan replaced him right in the third inning.
“I’m a little upset and banged up,” Floyd said. “When you hit the ground like that and you don’t know which way you are going ... my neck and whole left side took a hit. I’m just trying to play. It’s amazing. I’m battling these nagging and stupid things.
“I hope I’m better (today). It depends on how my body responds.”
Morris (7-6) allowed eight runs (five earned) in 4 2/3 innings.
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