SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Barry Bonds prefers to make history in front of his friends.
Bonds hit his 600th homer on an unusually warm Friday night at Pacific Bell Park, roaring past another milestone in his personal home run derby for the ages.
From the instant the ball left Bonds' black bat, the sellout crowd roared in an ovation that rolled through the park for several minutes. Fireworks flew to celebrate another amazing achievement by Bonds, who hit 73 homers last season before joining three of baseball's greatest hitters at 600.
The San Francisco Giants lost 4-3 to the Pittsburgh Pirates, but nobody in attendance is likely to remember.
"It's a relief, because it's here at home," Bonds said. "It's tough to celebrate something like this on someone else's turf. ... To be in that select group is great, but nothing's more satisfying than doing it front of 40,000 friends here in San Francisco. I don't think that it could ever be more gratifying than that."
Bonds put Kip Wells' pitch high and deep in the center field stands in the sixth inning to become just the fourth player to reach the rarified mark. He joined Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays with another milestone achievement in his unprecedented two-year power surge.
Bonds hit his 500th homer on April 17, 2001, and he has passed 13 players on baseball's career list since then in an unprecedented display. In 2001, he broke Mark McGwire's single-season record.
The 38-year-old star is now 155 home runs from tying Aaron's career record for home runs. Bonds hit his first homer since hitting No. 599 on Tuesday night, but despite the landmark blast, he couldn't get a victory for the Giants.
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