Brandon Belt suffered a broken left thumb when he was hit in the hand by a pitch from Dodgers left-hander Paul Maholm last night and it looks like the Giants will have to get by without him until late June.
According to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, Giants manager Bruce Bochy estimated after last night’s game that Belt will likely miss around six weeks. However, there should be more clarity on a timetable after he is examined today by hand specialist Dr. Tim McAdams.
As for what the Giants will do at first base in the meantime, Bochy mentioned the possibility of a rotation featuring Buster Posey, Michael Morse and Hector Sanchez. Travis Ishikawa, currently on the Triple-A disabled list with a jammed finger, Adam Duvall, and Tyler Colvin are among the alternatives in the minors.
Belt, 26, is batting .264/.317/.504 with nine home runs and 18 RBI in 35 games this season.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.