Sat, Aug 04, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Bonds' pursuit of Aaron's home run record still stuck

AFP , LOS ANGELES

Barry Bonds again went without a home run on Thursday as his controversial quest to surpass the all-time mark of Hank Aaron remained on hold.

The San Francisco Giants slugger hit his 754th career home run last Friday against Florida, moving within one homer of matching Aaron's 755 and two away from breaking the record.

Bonds, whose links to the BALCO steroid doping scandal have tarnished his run at immortality, was 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored in his four plate appearances on Thursday before he was lifted for a pinch runner in the seventh inning of the Giants' 4-2 victory.

The seven-time NL MVP did collect his first hit in 20 at-bats against the Dodgers with a second-inning single, raising his batting average to .138 (5-for-36) against Los Angeles this season.

The Giants now head south to San Diego, where, as in Los Angeles, Bonds can expect to be met with jeers.

Bonds has denied knowingly taking any performance enhancing drugs but his trainer, Greg Anderson, was among five men convicted in the BALCO scandal.

Given the suspicions that cling to Bonds, the Dodgers' decision to host a steroid awareness clinic for local youth before Thursday's game raised some eyebrows.

"I saw that today when I was coming into the park in the taxi," Giants infielder Rich Aurilia said before the game. "Steroid awareness clinic, pretty ironic, huh? You think they planned it that way?"

Don Hooton, who founded the Taylor Hooton Foundation anti-steriods educational organization after his teenaged son's suicide was linked to steroid use, said the timing was a coincidence.

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