SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt smacked a first-inning RBI triple to deep right field in Monday's 4-2 win against Arizona, noticeably driving the ball as well as any he has this season.
The first baseman credited his more open, upright batting stance -- which happens to not be so new at all.
Belt's coaches had been encouraging him since Spring Training to make the adjustments, and a recent look at video from his Minor League days showed that that's how Belt had previously approached the plate.
"It's just one of those things where you have to adjust yourself sometimes, and that's hard to do," Belt said. "Sometimes it takes looking at video to do it."
"I wasn't hitting the ball with authority and I wasn't driving the ball, and that's something I've always done, and I wanted to get back to that," Belt added.
Belt is batting .217 in May and has just nine extra-base hits in 96 at-bats this season, and the video-induced discovery could help turn things around for the 24-year-old first baseman.
"It helped reinforce what we said to him, and sometimes you don't realize the things you're doing when it's being said, and you have to see it for yourself," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "This game is all about adjustments. That's all he's doing -- he's tweaking a little bit. He's not changing his swing. He's getting in a stance that's going to give him a more consistent approach."
Sandoval has strong batting practice
SAN FRANCISCO -- The sight of batted balls landing on the arcade and caroming off the wall in right field meant one thing Tuesday.Pablo Sandoval was hitting. Sandoval staged an impressive display Tuesday as he took batting practice outdoors for the first time since he fractured his left hamate bone May 2. Hitting exclusively left-handed during early batting practice, Sandoval swung at 30 pitches and made authoritative contact with many of them. "I'm excited to be outside," Sandoval said. "I was swinging normal, getting my rhythm going." Sandoval's injured hand remained too tender to allow him to hit right-handed, since he wraps his bottom hand around the knob of the bat. Manager Bruce Bochy said that Sandoval took several practice swings right-handed but did not try hitting baseballs from that side. But Bochy added that Sandoval is "close" to being able to take right-handed batting practice. Sandoval was satisfied with the results of an examination he received Monday from team orthopedist Ken Akizuki, though the third baseman coyly told reporters, "I don't want to give you the details." Referring to the original four- to six-week timetable for his recovery, Sandoval indicated that returning around the six-week juncture is likely, primarily to avoid any aggravation of the injury. Sandoval was sidelined for 6 1/2 weeks when he broke his right hamate bone last year.
Blanco's plate patience paying off
SAN FRANCISCO -- As if the Giants needed more reasons to appreciate Gregor Blanco, manager Bruce Bochy cited another one: plate discipline.Blanco, who has established himself as San Francisco's right fielder and leadoff hitter, has enhanced his performance of the latter role with his patience. Entering Tuesday, he had seen an average of 4.14 pitches per plate appearance, which would tie him for 12th among National League hitters if he had enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title. "That's something we've missed," Bochy said. "I think guys are feeding off of that." Blanco began Tuesday with a team-high 21 walks, despite having accumulated just 129 plate appearances.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Jay Lee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.