April 23, 2018 / 12:16 AM / 4 months ago

Belt's homer, 21-pitch at-bat lead Giants past Angels

EditorsNote: updates sixth graf with Simmons day-to-day

Brandon Belt had a home run and two singles, and Johnny Cueto threw six scoreless innings to propel the San Francisco Giants to a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday afternoon in Anaheim, Calif.

However, Belt had another at-bat in the game that was just as significant as any of the hits, even though he made an out.

In the first inning, Belt battled through a 21-pitch plate appearance against Angels starter Jaime Barria, ultimately lining out to right field. The 21 pitches in a single at-bat were the highest since records have been kept in 1988, passing the mark of 20 set by Houston Astros infielder Ricky Gutierrez against Indians pitcher Bartolo Colon in June 1998. Gutierrez struck out.

Barria, making just his second major league start after winning his debut April 11 against the Texas Rangers, had to work his way out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first inning. He did, but he needed 49 pitches to escape the threat.

After allowing the first three batters to reach base in the top of the third, Barria (1-1) was finished, having made 77 pitches. All three baserunners eventually scored in the inning, one coming in when Buster Posey grounded into a double play, and two more on Evan Longoria’s home run.

Meanwhile, Cueto took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Through five innings, Cueto had walked two and hit two batters with pitches. One of the hit batters was Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who had to leave the game due to a right forearm contusion. X-rays were negative, and Simmons is day-to-day.

Cueto’s no-hit bid came to an end when Ian Kinsler led off the sixth with a single, a ground ball up the middle on a 3-1 pitch.

The Angels eventually loaded the bases with one out against Cueto, but the Giants right-hander escaped when he got Luis Valbuena to ground into an inning-ending 3-6-1 double play.

Cueto (2-0) wound up allowing two hits, two walks and two hit batters while striking out seven and making 96 pitches.

The Angels’ two runs came in on Mike Trout’s homer in the eighth inning off Giants reliever Cory Gearrin, Trout’s major-league-best ninth of the season.

Hunter Strickland pitched the ninth for the Giants and earned his third save.

Joe Panik added three hits for San Francisco, which totaled 13 hits, including at least one hit from everybody in the starting lineup.

Kinsler had two of the Angels’ six hits.

Barria was charged with two runs on five hits and a walk in two-plus innings. He struck out one.

—Field Level Media

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