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SAN FRANCISCO Bonds is scratched with sore elbow


Published: Sat, March 25, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.


The Giants claim the move was strictly precautionary.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Barry Bonds was scratched from the San Francisco Giants' lineup for an exhibition game Saturday with a strained left elbow.
Giants trainer Stan Conte stressed the move was strictly a precaution for the seven-time NL MVP, who's closing in on Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron atop baseball's career homers list.
Bonds went to the Giants' training room for treatment after taking batting practice with his teammates before their game against the Chicago White Sox. He left Scottsdale Stadium quickly after treatment, and wasn't expected to be back Saturday.
"He took a swing in BP today and felt a twinge in his left elbow," Conte said. "We're going to evaluate it as the day goes on. We don't really have any more information than that."
Bonds was in the team's early lineup, batting cleanup as the designated hitter, but Mark Sweeney replaced him about 90 minutes before the first pitch.
Played 7 innings Friday
Bonds played seven innings -- his longest outing of the spring -- Friday in an exhibition against Colorado, going 1-for-3 with an RBI single. He's 10-for-16 with four homers in Cactus League play, looking strong and sharp after three operations on his right knee limited him to 14 games last season.
Bonds had surgery on April 20, 1999, to repair a damaged triceps tendon near his left elbow. He was on the disabled list for seven weeks, but hasn't had a serious problem with the elbow since.
Bonds has 708 homers, six shy of Ruth. His spring has been mostly quiet in Arizona, but there has been plenty of drama back home.
On Friday, a California judge denied Bonds' bid to block the authors and publishers of "Game of Shadows" from making money on their book, which claims the slugger used steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs while setting his power-hitting records in recent years, including his 73-homer season in 2001.
Though Bonds has denied using performance enhancers, the book claims Bonds used steroids, human growth hormone, insulin and other banned substances for at least five seasons beginning in 1998.
Before the game, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen voiced his support for Bonds, even though they don't know each other well. Guillen hopes Bonds passes Ruth and breaks Aaron's record soon.
"I think it will be great for baseball," the World Series-winning manager said. "I think he's the greatest hitter ever. ... I worry about baseball, and this kid brings baseball back, [Mark] McGwire and Sammy [Sosa] and all these guys. People hated baseball then, after the strike. A lot of people will be mad when he breaks the record, but I hope he does."
Bonds is in the final season of a $90 million, five-year contract. He will be eligible for free agency after the World Series, but has said he can't imagine playing anywhere but San Francisco.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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