PITTSBURGH — In past years when Barry Bonds would come to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the late innings of a close game, Pirates manager Jim Tracy would have pitched around the slugger — perhaps even walking him intentionally.

But there is no menace in Bonds' glare anymore.

Bonds managed a harmless fly against left-hander Damaso Marte in the eighth inning of a 3-0 loss. He is 0-for-10 on this road trip and still looking for his first hit since he blew out 42 birthday candles Monday.

But here's the truly revealing stat: Bonds is batting just .183 against left-handers this season.

Bonds has often said he prefers to face lefties and spends hours hitting off left-handed batting practice pitcher John Yandle. So what's going on?

"I don't want to say what's really going on so I just try to, like, avoid it," said Bonds, asked before the game about his struggles against lefties. "I just avoid it. I just suck. That's about it.

"It's all right, though. I think I've done pretty good here (with the Giants). If I have one bad, sucky year it doesn't mean I'm going to have another one. You can assume whatever, but it doesn't mean necessarily that's going to happen."

Bonds reiterated that he plans to play next season, and for the Giants if they'll have him. He conceded he could be a part-time player, even if that meant taking part-time money — a fairly jarring statement for a man who has negotiated many a contract in the press.

"Don't matter with me," Bonds said with a laugh. "I got enough money, brother."

Even though Bonds says his knees continue to feel stronger, it seems new holes are opening in his swing every day.

"It's tough," Bonds said. "It's a veteran team and it's tough when ... things are taken away that you've worked so hard to establish. A lot of guys are having to redesign their whole script."

Is Bonds talking about an expanding strike zone? Compensating for a slower bat? Or something else?

"When I retire, I'll let you know," he said, winking.

TORRES AND ALOU AT ODDS: Pirates reliever Salomon Torres has heard rumors the Giants might trade for him, and he is pleading for them to stop. Without getting into specifics, Torres said he has an irreparable relationship with Felipe Alou from their time in Montreal.

"If there is any type of pity for me, please don't send me to San Francisco," Torres told MLB.com. "I just don't think that I can deal with that manager and repeating what I went through in'97 that prompted my retirement (for two years)."

ONE-HOPPERS: Disabled catcher Mike Matheny watched from the stands Friday after a day of testing at the University of Pittsburgh. The Giants don't expect to have results for a few days. ... An MRI showed no damage to Jose Vizcaino's jammed shoulder. ... The Giants are responsible for the balance of Mike Stanton's $1 million salary, which is about $375,000.