Brandon Belt returns to Giants’ starting lineup Sunday after battling mild right groin strain

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Brandon Belt has been held out of the Giants’ starting lineup since suffering a mild right groin strain last Tuesday in Arizona, but he was available to pinch hit Saturday night in San Diego and Alex Pavolvic of notes that he is starting at first base in Sunday’s series finale against the Padres.

Belt suffered the mild groin strain while chasing after a foul pop-up. He appeared in just 61 games last season due to a fractured thumb and concussions.

San Francisco badly needs better durability from the 26-year-old first baseman in 2015. He’s been a very effective player when healthy, boasting a .789 OPS (124 OPS+) in 421 career major league games.