Slugger's debut is less than successful

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Barry Bonds lost a fly ball in the sun and struck out swinging at a high pitch well out of the zone.

Giants left fielder Barry Bonds tries on sunglasses in the dugout before the start of the game against the Brewers.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Giants left fielder Barry Bonds tries on sunglasses in the dugout before the start of the game against the Brewers.

Not the best spring debut for San Francisco's slugger.

"Get all the good stuff out of the way early," Bonds said, laughing, after going 0-for-2.

Bonds grounded out on the first pitch he saw to end the first inning and later had a four-pitch strikeout from Milwaukee prospect Yovani Gallardo, a 21-year-old right-hander who led all minor leaguers with 188 Ks last year.

Bonds then described his day at the plate in the Giants' 21-2 loss to a Brewers split squad by using a profane adjective.

Bonds, who said he would not play in today's road game against the Brewers, spent most of his time running around in left field, but he said he felt fine afterward thanks to his successful winter workout regimen. That's a far cry from the exhaustion he typically complains of all year long.

"I was actually excited to face him - I wanted to face him," said Gallardo, likely to begin the year at Triple-A Nashville. "I just went up the ladder to see what happened and he chased it, so it worked out."

Bonds walked out to a loud ovation for his first at-bat. The Brewers shifted their infield, and Bonds grounded out to second on the first pitch from Carlos Villanueva.

Bonds, who complained about the sun after the first inning, fielded Bill Hall's leadoff single in the second off one bounce. He later lost Mike Rivera's looping fly ball in the sun and dropped the ball, and the play was ruled a double.

Bonds' teammates lined the dugout railing to get a glimpse of No. 25 when he stepped in for his second at-bat. Bonds drew ball one, then took two strikes before striking out, disappointing the 7,380 fans who packed Scottsdale Stadium for the Giants' home exhibition opener.

The seven-time NL MVP didn't play in the team's 9-2 win against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday. Bonds had been slated for a third at-bat, but after the Giants fell behind big and spent long innings in the field, the plan changed.

"His knee feels good and he's excited about it," San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy said.


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