SAN FRANCISCO -- Manager Bruce Bochy's insistence on countering an opposing left-handed pitcher by stacking his lineup with right-handed hitters cost first baseman Brandon Belt another start Sunday.
It didn't matter that Belt's seventh-inning double Saturday drove in both Giants runs in Saturday's 2-1 victory over San Diego. Sunday, Bochy installed switch-hitting Hector Sanchez behind the plate, Buster Posey at first base and Brett Pill in left field, leaving no room for the left-handed-batting Belt.
Belt began Sunday on a statistical upswing, having hit .375 (6-for-16) with three doubles and five RBIs in his previous six games. But Bochy expressed the belief that testing Padres left-hander Clayton Richard with right-handed batters would enhance the Giants' chances. Righties (.239 batting average) had fared marginally better than lefties (.217) against Richard entering the game.
"We have a pretty good right-handed bat at first base," Bochy said, referring to Posey.
Bochy added that matchups such as this accounted for Pill's presence on the roster: "That's why he's here, to give us some help against a left-handed pitcher."