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Bonds reels in Babe, blasts home run No. 714

OAKLAND, Calif. (Ticker) -- Barry Bonds finally caught the
Babe. But the San Francisco Giants needed that bat and glove of
Pedro Feliz to beat the Oakland Athletics.

Bonds hit No. 714 in the first inning and Feliz made a fine
defensive play to force extra innings and delivered a key hit in
the 10th as the Giants posted a 4-2 victory over the Athletics.

A seven-time Most Valuable Player, Bonds sent a 1-1 pitch from
Brad Halsey -- whom he was facing for the first time -- an
estimated 390 feet deep into the seats in right-center field in
his first at-bat. It was Bonds' 714th homer, tying the
legendary Ruth for second place on the all-time list. Hank
Aaron is the all-time leader with 755.

"It feels great. I can't say enough about it," Bonds said. "I
got a whole lot off my chest. Maybe I'll relax and play better
now."

Booed by fans at virtually every ballpark because of allegations
of steroid use, the 41-year-old Bonds surprisingly received
more cheers at McAfee Coliseum. After being greeted by his son,
Nikolai, at home plate, Bonds came out of the dugout for a
curtain call.

"It's a great atmosphere here in Oakland. It was a surprise,"
Bonds said. "It was great to do it in the Bay Area. I'm glad
they supported it. The fans in the Bay Area are great."

In his three other plate appearances, Bonds struck out, flied
out and was intentionally walked twice.

Behind the shot by Bonds, a homer by Mike Matheny and eight
strong innings from Jason Schmidt, San Francisco took a 2-1 lead
into the ninth only to have Oakland tie it on a single by Jay
Payton. But that's when Feliz took over.

With runners on the corners and one out, Feliz made a lunging
catch of a liner from Jason Kendall and ran to third base to
double off Bobby Crosby and force extra innings.

After Omar Vizquel drew a walk off Kiko Calero (0-1) in the
10th, Feliz singled to left-center field and Vizquel hustled
around to third base with Feliz advancing to second on the
throw. Calero then intentionally walked Bonds before Ray Durham
sent Steve Karsay's first pitch into right field to score
Vizquel. Steve Finley then lined out hard to right field,
plating Feliz with an insurance run.

Armando Benitez (3-0) worked around two walks in the bottom of
the frame to close out the Athletics, who had won five straight.

Matheny snapped a 1-1 tie when he hit the first pitch of the
seventh inning off Halsey over the left field fence for his
third homer of the season and Schmidt took the lead into the
ninth. But the righthander walked Eric Chavez in a nine-pitch
at-bat before retiring Frank Thomas on a popout.

Giants manager Felipe Alou came out to the mound and closer
Benitez started to leave the bullpen, but Alou decided to stick
with his ace, who was nearing 130 pitches.

Bobby Crosby reached when left fielder Jason Ellison, attempting
to make a diving catch off a bloop, had the ball fall out of
his glove when his glove hit the ground. Alou then went to
Benitez, who allowed a ground single to Payton that plated
Chavez with the the tying run.

Schmidt allowed two runs and seven hits in 8 1/3 innings. He
walked three and struck out three.

Halsey, making his fourth start in place of injured ace Rich
Harden, yielded just the two home runs and six hits in a
season-high 6 1/3 frames.

Oakland's Nick Swisher, who had reached base safely by hit or
walk in 36 straight games, went 0-for-5.