SAN FRANCISCO -- Reds left fielder Jonny Gomes really
waited to notch home run No. 100 of his career, and waited some more.
It finally came on Wednesday in his first at-bat vs. the Giants when Gomes hit a 1-0 pitch from Madison Bumgarner for a solo homer to left field in the Reds' 12-11 win over the Giants in 12 innings. It was Gomes' first long ball since July 19.
"You see all the big milestones, like [Alex Rodriguez] getting 600 and stuff. From where I came from and my player status, 100 home runs for me is a pretty awesome, big milestone for me," Gomes said before Wednesday's game. "It doesn't relate to other guys, but I don't think they've had the background and upbringing that I've had."
By the time he turned 24, Gomes had already survived a heart attack, a fatal car accident that took his best friend and spent some time with his mother homeless as a teenager.
Between homer Nos. 99 and 100, Gomes' overall production had waned. He came into Wednesday batting .196 (18-for-92) with only two RBIs in 27 games.
While not happy with his personal performance, Gomes looked at the big picture.
"When you're not hitting so well, it's a burden on you when the team isn't winning. But the boys have been doing a great job of picking me up," Gomes said. "There is no time to be bitter when the team is winning. At the same time, I'm getting my work in and trying to turn it around for this September push."
Gomes was a huge bat behind the Reds' surge to the top of the standings in the first half when he had 11 home runs and 60 RBIs. Since the All-Star break, he has three homers and seven RBIs.
"It all cycles around, and that's why we are where we are right now," Gomes said. "It's not like we have two guys hitting and everyone is dropping the ball. We have a nice lineup right now and a great bench. It's easier to swallow when you're winning and in first place. It's very easy to be freaking miserable when you're not hitting and in last place."