SAN DIEGO Brandon Belt had an angry, red bruise just above his right hip.
Ryan Vogelsong was even angrier.
The Giants' intense right-hander was incensed that Belt was hit in what the Giants viewed as a clear retaliatory act in the fourth inning of a 7-1 loss to the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
Vogelsong had hit Carlos Quentin two innings earlier. And after the game, Vogelsong sent a verbal shot whizzing in Quentin's direction.
"The guy hammers balls over the plate and then gets pissed when you throw them inside," Vogelsong said. "Doesn't make sense."
Vogelsong fills up his tank with fury when he pitches.Thats just how he competes. At times, it can spill over. Remember earlier this season against the Reds' Bronson Arroyo, when Vogelsong threw his bat after getting brushed back? Or last year at Florida, when he visibly reacted after recoiling from some chin music?
So it was a bit odd for Vogelsong to say this after a frustrating, abbreviated start at Petco Park: "Every time you hit a guy in this game, they think you did it on purpose. It's tired."
This much was clear: Vogelsong was tired of the Padres fouling off one two-strike pitch after another. He said he wasn't worn down by Everth Cabrera's 13-pitch at-bat to start the game, when the right-hander showed his stubborn streak by throwing all fastballs in a confrontation that finally ended with a strikeout. But the Padres saw it differently.
"It gave us the mometum," Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso said. "We could see Voglesong was frustrated about pitch nine or 10. And then he got mad. Cabby Ks and we're all, `Way to go, good job!' We fed off that."
Said Giants manager Bruce Bochy: "It was foul ball day, it seemed."
It's the reason Vogelsong threw 96 pitches and wasn't able to record an out in the fourth inning. After completing six innings in each of his first 21 starts, he's lasted 2 2/3 and 3-plus in his last two outings.
Neither he nor Bochy see any physical issue, dead-arm phase or drop in stuff as the culprit.
"No, and in fact, he was getting strikeouts," Bochy said. "He just had to work so hard today. He was frustrated. He was making some pretty good pitches and give them credit. They grinded out some good at-bats."
Yet Vogelsong departed with the Giants trailing just 3-1.
As he pointed out, all eight of the Padres' hits against him were singles, including a couple that weren't squared up.
And many more that were turned into souvenirs.
"Once again, I can't control where the ball goes after it leaves my hand," he said. "When it's that many, it starts to get a little frustrating. But that's part of the game. It happens."
Bad starts happen, too. But the Giants will need more of those solid, consistent starts from Vogelsong the rest of the way -- especially since the bullpen gets taxed on days that Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum pitch. So perhaps it's a good thing that Vogelsong is keeping his ornery edge.
Oh, and as for Belt? Bochy said no question the Padres were throwing at him with two outs and the bases empty in the fourth inning. But the affable, unassuming first baseman was no worse for wear.
"Yeah, its kind of a compliment," Belt said. "I think I was just the guy up in that spot. It's baseball. You cant be upset about it. It hurt for a couple minutes and then it was all right."