Baseball: Bonds marks Schilling's return with homer record

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The Independent Online

Barry Bonds and Jerome Williams helped make Curt Schilling's comeback for the Arizona Diamondbacks a miserable one as San Francisco Giants chalked up an emphatic 8-1 victory.

Bonds equalled a league record with his 12th consecutive 30-homer season and Williams allowed only two hits in six innings. For good measure Ray Durham greeted Schilling with a home run in the second pitch of the game. It was the first outing for Arizona's pitcher since he broke his right hand in May.

Bonds' big moment came in the fourth with his 30th home run of the season, matching the record set by Jimmie Foxx between 1929 and 1940. He has homered in five consecutive games and eight of his last nine, and also had a two-run double as San Francisco improved to 6-1 against Arizona this season. His career total now lies at 643 homers, only 17 short of Willie Mays at third place on the all-time list.

In Chicago, Sammy Sosa homered to start a six-run fourth and Matt Clement pitched eight strong innings as the Cubs ended Atlanta's eight-game winning streak with a 7-3 win.

Since returning in June from his seven-game suspension for using a corked bat, Sosa has hit 12 home runs. His high drive dropped into the left-field zone at Wrigley Field, giving him 18 homers this season and seven hits in his last seven at-bats.

Clement (7-7) allowed three runs - two earned - and five hits, including Rafael Furcal's 13th homer, as the Cubs avoided dropping below .500 for the first time all season.

The Braves' young pitcher Horacio Ramirez (8-3), who'd won seven straight decisions since 11 April, lasted just three innings - the shortest outing of his career.