SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Brandon Belt is going back to basics this year, and it’s paying off for the San Francisco Giants’ slugger.
“The main thing, just sticking with my approach, my strike zone,” Belt said. “When I get a pitch in my zone I’m doing something with it.”
Belt snapped a seventh-inning tie with a three-run homer and San Francisco beat the Colorado Rockies 9-5 on Sunday.
Nick Hundley added a solo shot later in the seventh for the Giants, who salvaged a series split after dropping the first two games. Gorkys Hernandez hit a two-run homer in the fifth.
The Giants, who had 13 hits, have homered in nine straight games.
Belt connected for his 12th of the season and fifth in seven games to give San Francisco an 8-5 lead. He and Hundley both homered off left-hander Jake McGee.
“He’s really been swinging the bat so well and it’s been over an extended period of time,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said about Belt. “They brought in a tough lefty and he got the job done.”
Belt came to the plate with Hernandez aboard on a leadoff single and Evan Longoria on following a one-out walk by reliever Bryan Shaw (1-2).
“When he’s good, he’s swinging at strikes and laying off balls and I think right now he’s seeing the ball well,” Rockies starter Tyler Anderson said of Belt. “That’s the thing, when guys see the ball well and they have good swings, your holes get smaller and smaller.”
Colorado lost for the third time in 11 road games this month.
The Rockies trailed 5-4 going into the seventh before Nolan Arenado singled home a run off winner Sam Dyson (2-0).
San Francisco rallied from a 4-1 deficit.
Hernandez homered in the fifth off Anderson to make it 4-3. An inning later, the Giants took a 5-4 lead on Kelby Tomlinson’s two-out, two-run triple off Shaw.
The Rockies trailed 1-0 going into the fourth when Trevor Story’s RBI double highlighted a two-run inning.
Colorado sent eight batters to the plate in a two-run fifth, chasing starter Ty Blach.
The Rockies got 13 hits and drew four walks. But they stranded nine and were 5 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
“We had some chances for sure to add on and we didn’t do it,” manager Bud Black said. “We couldn’t get the big blow, which is sort of the opposite of what the Giants did.”
San Francisco took an early lead when Buster Posey tripled and scored on Longoria’s sacrifice fly in the first. Posey’s triple was the ninth of his career and first since Sept. 10, 2016.
Arenado’s RBI in the seventh was his 80th against the Giants. The only active players with more are Adrian Gonzalez (85) and Matt Kemp (91).
Arenado was 3 for 5 and finished 8 for 18 in the series. He has reached base safely in 28 of his last 29 games and 39 of 42 overall.
LONG STORY SHORT
With his team down four runs, Story was thrown out trying to steal third for the final out. That apparently didn’t sit well with Black, who went out to talk to Story after the game. Black declined to reveal what he said to his shortstop. “We talked about a couple of things,” Black said tersely.
With two Giants second basemen on the disabled list, veteran third baseman Pablo Sandoval took grounders at second Sunday morning. He played two-thirds of an inning at second for Boston in April 2017. “He surprises me how quick his feet are and he’s pretty good around the bag,” Bochy said.
Giants: OF Andrew McCutchen was out of the lineup with a bruised knee and is day to day. ... 2B-OF Alen Hanson (left hamstring strain) won’t travel with the team to Houston. Hanson is eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday but is a few days behind his projected return, Bochy said.
Rockies: RHP German Marquez (2-2, 5.15 ERA) will pitch Monday’s series opener in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. The 23-year-old is 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA in five road starts.
Giants: LHP Andrew Suarez (1-3, 4.88) starts Tuesday’s series opener in Houston against the defending World Series champions. The 25-year-old rookie has struck out 28 and walked five in 27 2/3 innings.