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Bonds Blasts 500th Homer

Barry Bonds became the 17th major leaguer to hit 500 home runs, and probably the first to do it with a splash.

Bonds' two-run, eighth-inning drive off Terry Adams went into San Francisco Bay and led the Giants over the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 Tuesday night.

"When I hit it, I couldn't believe I hit it. Everything was in slow motion. It looked like it was stopped in midair," Bonds said. "Then I saw it went past those people (on the left field wall) and I thought, `Wow! I did it!"'

The homer off Adams (0-1) splashed into McCovey Cove beyond the right-field fence. Bonds rounded the bases and jumped with both feet on home plate before embracing his father, former major leaguer Bobby Bonds.

The left-field fence opened up and former Giants Willie Mays and Willie McCovey — also members of the 500 club — were whisked by a golf cart to a ceremony at home plate.

"First of all, I'd like to thank my parents for having me," Bonds said.

Mays, Bonds' godfather, hit 660 homers, third on the career list behind Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714). McCovey is 11th with 521.

"He has a flair for the dramatic," McCovey said.

The crowd cheered deafeningly for every Bonds' at-bat, waved orange rally towels passed out before the game, and chanted "Barry! Barry!"

Those in the outfield bleachers and along the top of the right-field wall would rise in anticipation of each Bonds' appearance. The walkway outside the wall — edging McCovey Cove — was packed with fans hoping to snag No. 500. The cove was filled with boats, and even a man in a wetsuit floating on a surfboard.

Bonds struck out in his first at-bat. In the third inning, his shot to left field was grabbed by Gary Sheffield just in front of the wall.

Adams said the pitch to Bonds was a 2-0 slider.

"First of all, I could care less about Barry Bonds' achievements," Adams said. "All I worry about is winning and losing a game. That's all I care about."

Bonds is the first player to reach 500 homers since Mark McGwire did it in 1999.

The 36-year outfielder was the eighth quickest to hit 500, reaching it in 7,501 at-bats. McGwire did it the fastest, in 5,487 at-bats.

Bonds, a three-time MVP, has 324 home runs since coming to San Francisco as a free agent before the 1993 season. He hit 176 with Pittsburgh.

The nine-time All-Star had started this season 0-for-21 before homering in five straight games, a career high.

Bonds hit No. 499 in the fourth inning Sunday off David Weathers in the Brewers' brand-new Miller Park. Bonds has homered in 24 major league ballparks.

"You go up there and you fell like you're on stage by yourself," Bonds said about the pressure. "It's nerve-racking. I'm really glad it's over."

Felix Rodriguez (1-0) pitched the eighth, striking out two for the win. Robb Nen got his third save.

Gary Sheffield's double-play grounder in the first inning off Shawn Estes scored Marquis Grissom and Sheffield put the Dodgers ahead 2-1 in thfifth with a sacrifice fly.

Jeff Kent had an RBI single in the first off Darren Dreifort, who gave up four hits in 6 1-3 innings and struck out six.

Estes allowed two runs and nine hits in six innings and struck out eight.

©MMI, The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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