Needing three to match Mark McGwire's record, Barry Bonds got them at Dodger Stadium. Three walks, that is.
Bonds stayed at 67 home runs, but tied Big Mac's NL mark of 162 walks and helped the San Francisco Giants rally in the ninth inning Wednesday night for a 6-4 victory over Los Angeles.
San Francisco remained 1 1/2 games behind Arizona in the NL West and three games behind St. Louis in the wild card race. The Dodgers fell 4 1/2 games back of the Diamondbacks.
"Arizona won, so we had to win," Bonds said. "It was a good game, a lot of pressure for both sides. It was fun."
The Giants overcame a 4-3 deficit in the ninth. Bonds, who was 1 for 2, scored the go-ahead run after a walk.
"Every one now is our biggest win of the year," Giants manager Dusty Baker said.
McGwire set the major league record of 70 home runs in 1998, the same season he drew all those walks. Babe Ruth walked 170 times in 1923.
Benito Santiago's sacrifice fly off Jeff Shaw tied it in the Giants' ninth, and John Vander Wal hit a two-out, two-run single off Jesse Orosco.
Robb Nen earned his league-leading 42nd save in 49 chances, getting Adrian Beltre on a fly ball with runners on first and second for the final out.
"Vandy won that game, man, and Robb closed it," Bonds said. "Go talk to them, let them have the credit. I'm just glad we won. That's all that's important right now."
The Giants are off today, and begin a three-game series at home Friday night against San Diego. Bonds has nine games left but he won't be the only player chasing history in that series.
Much ado was made about the reluctance of Dodgers officials to honor Barry Bonds if he hit No. 71 in Los Angeles. This weekend, the Giants face the question from the other side. What will they do if Rickey Henderson makes history at Pacific Bell Park?
The San Diego Padres outfielder needs one more run to tie Ty Cobb's career record of 2,245 and five hits hits to reach 3,000.
"What we're trying to decide is the appropriate way of commemorating it. We certainly want to acknowledge it," said Mario Alioto, the Giants' senior vice president for corporate marketing.
There will be no planned stoppage of play because Major League Baseball doesn't endorse interrupting a game, especially during a pennant race.