Belt homers, lifts Giants over Dodgers 5-3
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Brandon Belt hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh inning in his first game back in the majors and the San Francisco Giants finally gave Madison Bumgarner some run support at home while beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 on Tuesday night.
Belt, called up from Triple-A Fresno earlier in the day to give slumping first baseman Aubrey Huff a rest, homered in his first at-bat. He was retired his next two trips to the plate, then lined a bases-loaded double down the left-field line off reliever Hong-Chih Kuo.
Andres Torres, Mike Fontenot and Pablo Sandoval, the first three batters in San Francisco’s lineup, had two hits apiece to help the NL West-leading Giants to their ninth win in 11 games.
Rafael Furcal singled in two runs for the Dodgers, who led early but couldn’t score over the final six innings and lost their sixth consecutive game to San Francisco.
Bumgarner (5-9) struck out seven in eight innings, yielding three runs and four hits. The young left-hander retired his final 16 batters and issued no walks for the second straight start.
It’s the first time in 18 starts at AT&T Park that Bumgarner has received more than three runs of support.
Brian Wilson pitched the ninth for his 29th save in 33 chances, helping the Giants increase their lead over Arizona to 4 1/2 games. Wilson is tied with Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel for the major league lead in saves.
Matt Kemp singled with two out in the ninth but Wilson got pinch-hitter Andre Ethier to fly out, closing a busy day for the defending World Series champs.
In addition to bringing up Belt, the Giants acquired second baseman Jeff Keppinger from the Houston Astros for a pair of minor league pitchers and placed infielder Miguel Tejada on the disabled list with a lower abdominal strain.
“Without being harsh, this group just isn’t getting it done,” Giants general manager Brian Sabean said. “We need to somehow extend the lineup any way we can, and we think this is an upgrade.”
Belt’s night was exactly what San Francisco needed.
He went deep against Rubby De La Rosa leading off the second, then delivered his clutch hit in the seventh after the Dodgers elected to intentionally walk Sandoval and Cody Ross. Los Angeles also botched a pickoff attempt earlier in the inning after Kuo (0-1) threw to first when pinch-runner Emmanuel Burriss broke for second. Burriss easily beat the throw to second, sliding in ahead of the tag by Furcal.
San Francisco led 2-0 on Belt’s home run and an RBI groundout by Bumgarner.
The Dodgers, who were shut out a night earlier by All-Star right-hander Ryan Vogelsong and a pair of relievers, answered with three runs in the third.
Tony Gwynn Jr. doubled in James Loney and Juan Rivera added a go-ahead two-run single. Rivera, though, was thrown out trying to scramble back to the bag after taking a wide turn at first.
San Francisco opened the fifth with three straight hits off De La Rosa. Sandoval, who has reached base in 27 consecutive games, singled in Torres with the tying run.
De La Rosa, who was clocked at 100 mph in the first inning, allowed two earned runs and nine hits over five innings.
NOTES: Furcal’s single snapped an 0-for-19 streak. … Manager Bruce Bochy said the Giants will skip LHP Barry Zito’s next turn in the rotation Friday. Zito’s next start will be against Philadelphia on June 27 or June 28. … Dodgers INF Marcus Thames cleared waivers and was officially released by the team. … Dodgers INF Casey Blake (cervical strain) fielded grounders during batting practice and the team is encouraged by his progress. Blake has been on the disabled list since July 3. … The crowd of 42,391 was a season-high at AT&T Park. The Giants have sold out every home game this year.