SAN FRANCISCO -- As soon as the ball left Barry Bonds' bat, Mike Bacsik knew. The Washington Nationals left-hander scratched the back of his head, glanced at a triumphant Bonds and then turned and stared toward where the ball had just sailed.

By then, the AT&T Park crowd was roaring, fireworks were shooting off into the sky and Bonds was baseball's newly crowned home run king.

Bonds sent Bacsik's seventh pitch of the fifth-inning at-bat -- a 3-2 fastball -- soaring over the right-center-field wall to break a tie with Hank Aaron on the all-time home run list. Bonds' 756th homer traveled an estimated 435 feet and put Bacsik in the company of Al Downing, the man who allowed Aaron's record 715th home run in April 1974.

"I didn't want to give up the home run," Bacsik said. "But I'm lucky enough to be part of a very special moment in sports history."

Pulled from the game after the fifth, Bacsik, 29, went to the Giants clubhouse to congratulate Bonds, who also played only five innings.

"I told him he was the best I'd ever faced and probably the best of all-time," said Bacsik, who entered the game with a 10-11 career record. "I told him I wanted to go after him and challenge him if the situation presented itself. There was nobody on base and one out. I wanted to go after him."

Bonds and Bacsik chatted for a few minutes after leaving the game, and Bonds gave the pitcher a bat.

"He wrote on there, 'To Mike, God bless, Barry Bonds,'" Bacsik said.


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"I didn't ask for it. He gave it to me. He just said, 'You're going to be a good pitcher, and I'm going to enjoy watching you on TV.' Giving it up to Barry Bonds is nothing to be ashamed of."

Oddly, Bacsik's dad, Mike Sr., pitched to Aaron when Hammerin' Hank had 755 home runs. Bacsik said his dad told him, "Go after him. Have fun."

Bacsik went after Bonds and proved to be no match for the home run champ. Bonds ripped a double to right-center in the second inning and singled to center in the third.

In the fifth, Bacsik fell behind 2-0, then worked the count to 2-2 before throwing another ball. Bonds hit the next pitch up the first-base line, barely foul. Then, with the crowd chanting "Barry, Barry, Barry," Bacsik became a permanent part of baseball history.

He stood alone as Bonds circled the bases and then watched the 10-minute ceremony from the dugout.

"I honestly didn't even watch it land," Bacsik said. "I watched Barry's reaction and by the sound of the bat and by Barry's reaction, I knew it.

"I dreamed about this as a kid. Unfortunately, when I dreamed about it, I thought I'd be the one hitting the home run."

Bacsik had pitched to Bonds twice before Tuesday, retiring him on both occasions. Bonds had one RBI off the left-hander. Bascik is the 446th pitched to give up a home run to Bonds. But unlike the previous 445, he will never be forgotten.

"Me and Al Downing I guess will be linked for a long time," Bacsik said. "Hopefully, I can win 20 games and be an All-Star like him someday."

Contact Darren Sabedra at dsabedra@mercurynews.com.