Brandon Belt’s best birthday as a big-leaguer helped provide the rest of the San Francisco Giants a bit of a gift: the opportunity to earn a series split against the New York Mets.
The Giants will conclude their four-game set in New York on Thursday afternoon. Anthony DeSclafani (0-0, 4.32 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for San Francisco against Carlos Carrasco (0-0, 0.84) in a battle of right-handers.
The Giants scored three first-inning runs and Belt, who turned 34 on Wednesday, homered in the second inning as San Francisco earned a 5-2 win. The hit was the first on his birthday for Belt, who was 0-for-18 before going deep off Chris Bassitt.
“I usually (stink) in April, so I’m not surprised,” said Belt, a career .264 hitter overall who owns a .253 career average in April. “I would imagine my birthdays aren’t that great when I don’t get hits on every single one, but yeah, it’s fun.”
The victory came less than 24 hours after the Mets completed a doubleheader sweep of the Giants. New York took the Tuesday opener 5-4 in 10 innings before Max Scherzer and a pair of relievers limited the Giants to two hits in a 3-1 win in the nightcap.
The Wednesday win ensured the Giants wouldn’t be swept for the first time since they dropped a two-game series to the Los Angeles Dodgers last June 28-29 — a span of 30 series.
The Mets still haven’t swept an opponent since taking a two-game set from the Miami Marlins last Aug. 30-Sept. 1.
The Mets are expected to take the field Thursday with manager Buck Showalter again watching from the dugout. Showalter missed the Wednesday game after undergoing a medical procedure earlier in the day.
New York was managed by a committee consisting of pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, hitting coach Eric Chavez and coordinator of coaching development and instruction Dick Scott, who was unofficially filling the role of bench coach Glenn Sherlock while the latter is on the COVID-19 list.
“You have a lot of guys with a lot of experience in there,” Hefner said afterward. “And even (third base coach) Joey (Cora) and (first base coach Wayne) Kirby and you have guys like Max — there’s a lot of experience in that dugout. So there was no question that we were going to be able to navigate the game and talk through things and those types of things.
“Obviously, we miss Buck and his leadership, but (he) thought given the circumstances, we did a good job.”
Neither DeSclafani nor Carrasco factored into the decision in their most recent start last Saturday. DeSclafani allowed two runs over 4 2/3 innings as the Giants beat the Cleveland Guardians 4-2, while Carrasco tossed five scoreless innings in the Mets’ 3-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
DeSclafani is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in seven career appearances (six starts) against the Mets. Carrasco is 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA in four lifetime starts against the Giants.
–Field Level Media