The Colorado Rockies might need to adopt a different strategy when Brandon Belt comes to bat in the first inning on Wednesday: Walk him.
The San Francisco Giants veteran hit two home runs in Tuesday's doubleheader split with the Rockies, and both came in the first inning of each game. He hit a grand slam in the opener and a two-run shot in the nightcap.
He can make it 3-for-3 when the series wraps up at Coors Field with a matinee game on Wednesday. Belt might have earned a day off, but getting to hit in the thin air is tempting, especially when someone is on a roll like Belt is.
Logan Webb (1-2, 4.13 ERA) will get the start for the Giants while Colorado will send Jon Gray (3-2, 3.15) to the mound for a traditional nine-inning game.
San Francisco nearly had the sweep Tuesday before the Rockies rallied in the nightcap. The Giants won the opener 12-4 and were an out away from two wins when Charlie Blackmon's three-run homer in the seventh gave the Rockies an 8-6 win.
San Francisco started the day making roster moves. Pitcher Kevin Gausman was placed on the IL because of lingering effects of his COVID-19 vaccine shot, and infielder Tommy La Stella landed on there with a strained left hamstring.
The Giants recalled Jason Vosler from the alternate training site, and he played the first game of the doubleheader on Tuesday.
La Stella, who signed a three-year, $18.75 million free-agent contract with San Francisco in the offseason, will miss two to four weeks, manager Gabe Kapler said.
"This team is incredibly deep, and anybody who is going to be filling in and anybody who is going to be on the field is more than qualified," La Stella said. "I think one of the unique aspects of this team is our depth."
Webb will make his fourth career start against Colorado and is 2-0 with a 4.35 ERA in four total games against the Rockies. Two of those three starts have come in Denver, where he is 1-0 with a 4.35 ERA.
Gray hasn't had much success in 12 career starts against the Giants, going 1-6 with a 6.16 ERA. In five career starts against San Francisco at Coors Field he is 0-3 with a 10.13 ERA.
Gray has been much more effective in his Coors Field starts this season. In four outings he is 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA and has not given up more than four hits in any of those starts.
Colorado starters have struggled lately, culminating with German Marquez allowing eight runs in just 2/3 inning in Tuesday's first game. The Rockies expected lefty Kyle Freeland to slot in as the second or third starter, but he is still working his way back from a left shoulder injury.
Colorado is hoping to get him and infielder Brendan Rodgers back soon. Rodgers is getting closer to returning from a right hamstring strain.
"Brendan is in a really good place," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "He ran the bases in Arizona, did a lot of sprinting, simulated hitting a double in Arizona on the field. He's taking ground balls, he's hitting in the cage, hitting on the field."
--Field Level Media