MIAMI – Giants first baseman Brandon Belt has been dealing with back stiffness, but he exited Saturday night’s game in the third inning for a different reason.
Belt was replaced in the bottom of the third because of dizziness, the team announced. Tyler Colvin entered in left field and Michael Morse shifted from left to first base.
Belt doubled in his only at-bat and scored the go-ahead run in the second inning when Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia allowed a passed ball and then made an errant throw to third base.
As you might recall, Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti had to be hospitalized on Thursday because of vertigo thought to be triggered by a viral infection and air pressure on the team flight to South Florida. The flight diverted to Las Vegas, where Righetti continues to recuperate. It wasn't immediately known if Belt was dealing with the same viral illness, which has been making its way through the clubhouse since June.
Before the Giants' announcement, it was assumed that Belt’s back stiffness was the reason. A bad back made him a late scratch last Sunday, when the Giants played their last game prior to the All-Star break. It was thought a few days of rest would be enough to knock it out, but Manager Bruce Bochy said prior to batting practice on Saturday that the stiffness hasn’t gone away.