Bruce Bochy leaning towards batting Brandon Belt third

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Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Giants manager Bruce Bochy gave an idea of how he’ll construct his lineup going into the 2015 season. It includes Brandon Belt batting third, as well as newcomers Casey McGehee and Norichika Aoki batting sixth and seventh.

Belt, 27 in April, hit fifth or lower in the Giants’ lineup in 34 of the 61 games in which he appeared during the 2014 season. Despite limited playing time due to a fractured thumb and concussion issues, Belt was among the more productive hitters for the Giants, finishing with a .243/.306/.449 slash line along with 12 home runs and 27 RBI in 235 plate appearances.

Hunter Pence, who finished with an on-base percentage 25 points higher than Belt last season, hits fifth. One wonders if it may be more logical to bat Pence third and Belt fifth.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.