Belt breaks superstition, takes Cain's seat


Belt breaks superstition, takes Cain's seat

SAN FRANCISCO Brandon Belt felt like he was going to throw up in the ninth inning. Belt felt even worse two innings before that.

With Matt Cain closing in on the 22nd perfect game in major league history, and the first in the Giants 129 years as a franchise, Belt sat down in the dugout after the seventh inning to take a deep breath.

I sat down and Cainer just stopped and stared at me, said Belt, whose eyes grew wide with panic. Yeah, I guess everything was OK until I sat in his seat.

Pitchers with no-hitters might as well have smallpox. They sit in one end of the dugout, with room to spare. Everyone else crowds at the other end. Belt realized he was in the worst possible place.

I went and sat down next to Vogelsong and tried not to think about it, Belt said, sheepishly. Hey, he picked me up.

This isnt Belts first brush with baseball superstition.

The other day I picked the ball up off the mound and threw it to Timmy (Lincecum) and he kind of looked at me, Belt said. He likes to pick up the ball and start it himself. Hey, you never want to get a pitcher out of his groove."

Belt is finally finding his groove. It took him all season to hit his first home run Wednesday night. He added another on Thursday, along with an RBI hit.

Honestly, what I did at the plate tonight, I could care less about that, he said. It was just so incredible to be a part of this. We knew it was going to happen eventually. I knew this pitching staff had it in em. But it never really registered to me that I could play in a perfect game.

He had a veteran's sense when it ended, though. After leaping from first base upon receiving the final out, Belt tucked the game ball in his back pocket before joining Cain and Buster Posey in their embrace of elation.

Giants lineup: After nine-run outburst on Monday, Bochy makes no changes

Giants lineup: After nine-run outburst on Monday, Bochy makes no changes

Bud Black and Bruce Bochy issued their lineups for Game 2 of their series at AT&T Park:

Rockies (47-32) 
1. Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
2. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
3. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
4. Mark Reynolds (R) 1B
5. Ian Desmond (R) LF
6. Alexi Amarista (L) RF
7. Trevor Story (R) SS
8. Tony Wolters (L) C
9. Jeff Hoffman (R) P

Giants (28-51)
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Hunter Pence (R) RF
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Ryder Jones (L) 3B
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) LF
9. Matt Cain (R) P (3-7, 5.54 ERA)

Source: With deadline looming, Giants calling up Hwang

Source: With deadline looming, Giants calling up Hwang

SAN FRANCISCO -- With a deadline looming, the Giants will take a look at yet another third baseman.

Jae-gyun Hwang, a Korean infielder who was one of the surprises of camp, will join the team on Wednesday. Hwang has spent the entire season in Triple-A. He could have opted out of his contract on July 1 if he wasn't in the big leagues. 

Manager Bruce Bochy said he could not talk about Hwang much since the move -- placing Conor Gillaspie back on the disabled list -- is pending, but he also noted that Hwang is expected to start at third base on Wednesday against the Rockies. It'll be a huge moment for a 29-year-old who gave up a career as a superstar in the KBO to come and try to make it in Major League Baseball. 

"This is one of the best parts of the game for a manager, when you can welcome a guy and you shake hands or hug a guy who is realizing his dream," Bochy said. "Jae worked hard and gave up a lot to pursue this, so I'll be as happy as he is when I see this guy."

In 68 games with Sacramento, Hwang was hitting .287/.333/.476 with 19 doubles, four triples, seven home runs and 44 RBI. He primarily plays third, although he has played plenty of first base this season. The Giants tried Hwang at left early in the season but the experiment didn't take, and that was part of the reason why it was going to be hard to fit him on the roster. 

As late as Monday, sources said Hwang would not get a June call-up and the expectation was that he would take the opt-out. But then Gillaspie's back flared up again and a cortisone shot was needed. 

Hwang's time up here could be short. Eduardo Nuñez will be back Friday and the Giants will need to option either Hwang or Ryder Jones. By adding Hwang to the 40-man roster, the Giants gain the ability to option him back to the minors.