Brandon Belt

The Panda is back: Sandoval's return complete, Giants purchase 3B's contract

The Panda is back: Sandoval's return complete, Giants purchase 3B's contract

SAN FRANCISCO -- A wild curveball accelerated Pablo Sandoval's return to the majors.

Sandoval had his contract purchased on Saturday morning a few hours after Brandon Belt was hit in the head by an Anthony Banda pitch. Belt was put on the seven-day concussion disabled list. 

The concussion is the fourth for Belt in eight years. Late Friday night, there was a bit more optimism about Belt's condition, but there was no doubt he would be placed on the DL regardless of how he is feeling. There's no reason for the Giants to take any chances with one of their best players.

Sandoval used to fit that mold, but he left for Boston after 2014 and struggled mightily. The Panda was designated for assignment last month and returned to the Giants. He was hitting just .207 in Triple-A but the Giants had vowed to give him a look eventually, and they're short on options. Conor Gillaspie was just cut, Ryder Jones will move to first for the time being and Christian Arroyo is hurt. The Giants, then, chose Sandoval over Jae-Gyun Hwang. 

Belt, who has three previous concussions, feeling symptoms after getting hit

Belt, who has three previous concussions, feeling symptoms after getting hit

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have taken plenty of losses on the field this season. The hit they took late Friday night could be much more serious. 

Brandon Belt was hit in the side of the head by a pitch in the sixth inning and removed immediately. Belt was feeling concussion-like symptoms after the incident and he will be reevaluated on Saturday morning. If Belt does have a concussion, it would be his fourth in the last eight years. 

“He’s been through this before, so it’s obvious there are some concerns there,” manager Bruce Bochy said. 

Belt missed the final 15 games of the 2015 season after diving into an infielder’s knee while getting back to second base, and 46 games in 2014 after getting hit by a Marco Scutaro throw during batting practice. He also suffered a serious concussion while playing at the University of Texas. In the past, Belt has seen specialists to try and recover. 

The Giants were waiting a day before making any definitive statement, but it seems a lock that Belt will be put on the seven-day concussion disabled list. Bochy and general manager Bobby Evans met after the game to discuss the situation. Ryder Jones, who moved over after Belt was removed, is the next man up at first base. 

Belt was sent home before the clubhouse was opened to reporters. 

“I’m sure this is probably scaring him a little bit because he’s been through this,” Bochy said. “It’s not a lot of fun going through one and now he’s going through another. I’m sure he’s got some concerns, as we do. Our hope is this thing will be better tomorrow.”

While leading off the inning, Belt took a 79 mph curveball from rookie Anthony Banda to the side of the helmet. He went straight down, holding his head as trainer Dave Groeschner ran to the plate. After a couple of minutes, Belt stood up. He was removed immediately by Groeschner and Bochy. AT&T Park was silent, and Banda, who had command issues all night, crouched on the mound and bit into his glove. 

The Diamondbacks have hit two Giants in the head this season. Buster Posey landed on the concussion disabled list in April after taking a Taijuan Walker fastball off the helmet. In the top of the seventh, Madison Bumgarner hit Jake Lamb in the ribs with a fastball. There was little question about the intent. 

Belt, by just about any standard, has been the Giants’ second-best player this season. He leads the team with 18 homers, tying his career-high, and has a .823 OPS. Belt also is in serious contention for his first Gold Glove Award. He has started to heat up over the past week, with four multi-hit games, two homers and seven doubles over his past nine games. 

Goldschmidt does all the damage as Giants' bats go to bed in loss

Goldschmidt does all the damage as Giants' bats go to bed in loss

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Paul Goldschmidt had three hits to help rookie Anthony Banda earn his first career win, and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the San Francisco Giants 2-1 on Friday night to continue the franchise's best start in nearly 15 years.

David Peralta doubled and reached twice to help the Diamondbacks (63-46) beat Madison Bumgarner and the Giants in the first matchup between the NL West rivals since early April.

One day after hitting a career-high three home runs at Wrigley Field, Goldschmidt mixed in some speed with his power at AT&T Park in San Francisco. He reached on an infield single in the second, tripled in the fourth to drive in A.J. Pollock and tacked on an RBI single off the wall in left in the sixth.

Brandon Crawford drove in San Francisco's lone run with a bases-loaded walk in the fourth. The Giants have been held to one run or less in five of Bumgarner's nine starts and 24 times overall.

Banda (1-1), Arizona's top prospect going into the season, allowed one run and three hits in six innings. The left-hander struck out seven and walked four.

Three relievers completed the three-hitter. Fernando Rodney retired three batters for his 25th save.

The Giants had a scary moment in the sixth when first baseman Brandon Belt was hit in the head by a 78 mph curveball. He stayed down for several moments while being attended to by trainer Dave Groeschner while Banda knelt on the mound with his face in his glove.

Joe Panik then came in to run for Belt.

Bumgarner (1-5) struck out seven and allowed five hits in seven innings.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray threw in the outfield before the game. Ray was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of St. Louis' Luke Voit on July 28. ... OF Yasmany Tomas (right groin tendinitis) could begin a rehab assignment next week. ... INF Ketel Marte was reinstated from the bereavement list. Marte's mother, Elpidia Valdez, died in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday night.

Giants: RHP Mark Melancon (right pronator strain) retired only two batters and allowed four earned runs in a rehab start with Class A San Jose. The closer threw 22 pitches, 19 for strikes, and gave up a home run in his brief outing.

UP NEXT

RHP Tajuan Walker (6-5, 3.55 ERA) pitches for Arizona on Saturday seeking his third win in four career starts against San Francisco. RHP Chris Stratton (0-2, 7.71 ERA) goes for the Giants.