CHICAGO -- Barry Bonds' worst slump is over and Hank Aaron's record can't be far behind.
Bonds moved within two home runs of Aaron's record Thursday, sending No. 752 over the right-field bleachers on the first pitch he saw, and No. 753 into the basket of the center-field wall.
He was ready, all right, breaking out of his worst slump in six years.
The San Francisco slugger returned to the starting lineup for the first time in four games after resting his sore legs, though his two homers weren't enough for the Giants in a 9-8 loss to the surging Chicago Cubs.
"Yeah, it's real," said Bonds, who has hesitated to discuss his quest for the record.
Bonds didn't just clear the fences in the second inning when he crushed the specially monogrammed ball for his 18th homer of the season and first in 25 at-bats, he cleared the bleachers altogether.
On Friday, the chase moves to Miller Park in Milwaukee, the city where Aaron both started and ended his career. It's also the home of commissioner Bud Selig, who hasn't said whether he'll be in the seats as Bonds attempts to make history.