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VICTIM OF 755 HEADS TO MINORS

It was No. 755 and out for Clay Hensley.

The Padres right-hander was optioned to Triple-A Portland on Sunday, a day after serving up the home run that allowed Barry Bonds to tie Hank Aaron's all-time record.

The demotion had nothing to with Bonds' historic shot. San Diego's bullpen was taxed after two straight extra-inning games, and the Padres needed a fresh arm, which it got by promoting RHP Mike Thompson from the Beavers.

At least Hensley got a nice parting gift: an autographed bat from Bonds.

The pitcher and slugger ran into each other in a hallway after Saturday's game.

"I congratulated him," Hensley said. "It was funny, because he didn't expect to get that off me. But it happened, so what are you going to do? I shook his hand, gave him a big hug and said, 'Congratulations.' And that was pretty much it."

Hensley asked for, and got, an autographed bat. "It was a nice gesture," he said. "I appreciate that."

He got the news Sunday morning that he was going to the minors.

"We're running out of guys. We went through everybody, and what are you going to do?" Hensley said.

Bonds seemed surprised when he heard Hensley was sent down.

"He did? That sucks," Bonds said.

SORIANO OUT: Cubs LF Alfonso Soriano strained his right quadriceps and will be out two to four weeks. "It's going to be a tough loss. I don't know what we'll do," manager Lou Piniella said.

STARTERS HURT: Giants LHP Noah Lowry left with left forearm tightness, and Padres RHP Justin Germano left after getting hit on the right thumb by Pedro Feliz's comebacker.

RAINOUT: The Pirates-Reds game was postponed and rescheduled as part of a doubleheader Aug. 28.

TIGERS: DH Sean Casey left against the White Sox in the third after being hit in the left elbow by a Gavin Floyd pitch. He is day to day with a contusion.

YANKEES: DH Jason Giambi's rehab stint with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre ended with an 0-for-3 night. He said he will join New York today.

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