San Francisco, CA – The Giants returned home after opening the season on the road. After winning the series in both Arizona and Los Angeles, San Francisco’s coming off their best start of the season since 2010. They continued to their wining ways today by defeating the Diamondbacks 7-3.
Brandon Belt became the first Giants player since Jose Cruz Jr. (2003) to hit five home runs through San Francisco’s first eight games of the season. He blasted a two-run homer to right field and gave the Giants a 2-0 lead in the first frame. He’s now tied with Mark Trumbo for Major League lead in home runs.
“That’s what you’re hoping to see from these hitters; growth,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “He certainly has grown into a smarter hitter and a more dangerous hitter.”
“I’ve got more balance than I’ve had in the past and it’s enabled me to get better contact,” Belt said.
The offense didn’t disappoint the 247th sellout crowd. San Francisco tallied two runs in both the third and fifth frames. Michael Morse singled on a ground ball scoring in both Belt and Hunter Pence. And Brandon Crawford also followed with a two-out, two run single to extend the Giants lead 7-2.
“We’re off to a good start,” said Buster Posey. “We feel like we’re a group that can score a lot of different ways.”
Tim Hudson made his opening day debut since signing with the team this past offseason. He has yet to disappoint, especially since this is a rematch of last Wednesday’s game, where San Francisco beat the D-backs 2-0. Hudson and Trevor Cahill battled on the mound last week and are at it again today.
“It’s just strength and stamina, and from a conditioning point I’m not where I want to be yet,” Hudson said.
The D-backs mustered three runs, Trumbo grounded into a force out and Martin Prado scored in the second. Miguel Montero’s sacrifice fly brought in their next run cutting the lead to 5-2. And Gerardo Para grounded out to second baseman Brandon Hicks to first baseman Belt in the eighth scoring in Tony Campana.
Hudson went eight frames, his longest start since June 26, 2012 vs Arizona when he threw 8.0 innings. He’s yet to issue a walk in 15.2 innings of work this season and didn’t again today. The Giants 47 runs are the most they’ve scored throughout their first eight games of the regular season since 2003 when they scored 47 through eight.
“Both games he’s gotten into a real nice rhythm and it makes it tough,” said Trumbo. “If he’s capable of pitching like he did today, that’s a tough matchup for anyone.”