SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt hits 'em in bunches.In the third inning of Wednesday's 6-3 loss to the Reds, the Giants first baseman launched his third home run in as many days. It also marked the fifth straight contest that Belt recorded a dinger against the Reds, as he delivered
SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt hits 'em in bunches.
In the third inning of Wednesday's 6-3 loss to the Reds, the Giants first baseman launched his third home run in as many days. It also marked the fifth straight contest that Belt recorded a dinger against the Reds, as he delivered a Splash Hit on Tuesday and a solo shot Monday.
To lead off the third, Belt turned on an inside 87 mph changeup from Reds righty Matt Harvey, sending the ball to the arcade seats in right-center. Belt's blast pulled the Giants within one run after his team started the game in a 4-0 hole due to some early struggles from starter Andrew Suarez. But the Giants were held scoreless the rest of the afternoon and missed out on a chance to sweep the Reds.
Belt's homer Wednesday was the 12th of his career vs. Cincinnati, tied for the most he's hit against one opponent (Arizona is the other). He smacked three in four games against the Reds last May, and he also had a three-game homer streak in Cincinnati in May 2015. After the game, Belt learned he became the first Giants player since Barry Bonds to homer in five straight contests against the same opponent.
"I've always said we're pretty much the same player. So it's not surprising," Belt said.
Pause for laughter.
"Honestly, right now I just think I'm seeing the ball well," he said. "Recognizing which pitches are strikes and which pitches are not, and making sure that I do stuff with it."
But he exited the field steaming, after striking out looking to end the contest on a full-count, outside fastball from Reds closer Raisel Iglesias. Belt was particularly upset with home-plate umpire Doug Eddings, saying he felt the last pitch of the game should have been called a ball. On-deck hitter Evan Longoria, who recorded his second three-hit day in a Giants uniform, would have represented the game's tying run.
"That can't happen," Belt said. "You can't have those guys affecting games and affecting careers like that. We had a really good hitter coming up after that who could have tied the game for us. We never got that chance because he calls a ball that's so far off the plate, I don't even think I could have touched it if I swung at it."
Belt surpassed Longoria for the team lead in home runs (nine) and RBIs (23) with the solo shot. Belt also hit a home run in four consecutive contests from April 18 to April 22 this year.
The key now? Not to overthink or change his mindset at the plate.
"Absolutely," Belt said. "Coming into this year, I knew I had a good approach. I knew I had a good idea of what to do at the plate. I've just kind of stuck with it. Don't let anyone take me out of it, whether it be teams or umpires or whatever it may be."
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.