Bonds on brink of history

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Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants moved to within one home run of a place in history, after hitting his 70th home run of the season to draw level with Mark McGwire's all-time mark.

Bonds has already established new records for slugging percentage and walks. Indeed, so reluctant have opposition pitchers been to throw strikes that Bonds has been walked 175 times this year, five more than the previous record, dating back to Babe Ruth and 1923. On Thursday night in Houston the Astros walked him three times, before Wilfredo Rodriguez challenged him with a fastball – only to see it blasted into the centre right field stands.

Bonds has now hit 564 career home runs, seventh on the all-time list and second only to Ruth among left-handed hitters.