Bonds' 1-for-3 made him 6-for-10 against his former club this season, but Paul Maholm (8-14) pitched a three-hitter in the opener to avoid becoming the major league leader in losses.The fact that it has been a decade and a half since Barry left and that the Pirates have been losers every one of those seasons says a lot about why he would get heartily booed upon his returns to Three Rivers and whatever the new stadium is called. The fact that he was received so warmly this time says a lot about the degree to which people who care about baseball are able to act independently of what the sports media tells them they should be doing.
Bonds, usually booed in Pittsburgh because of his playoff failures with the Pirates from 1990-92, received a brief standing ovation as he took the field in the bottom of the first and a louder one during a video tribute between games. Bonds, who has 758 homers, tipped his cap, bowed once and waved in response to a loud ovation from the crowd of 25,434.
It was by far the warmest ovation that Bonds has received since he left Pittsburgh in 1992 following seven seasons, three of them NL East championship years. The Pirates haven't had a winning season in the 15 years since he left.
There were cheers for each of Bonds' plate appearances -- and, again, after two of them. He grounded out to first base in the second and struck out looking in the fourth before lining a single into right field in the seventh, all against Maholm.
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