Giants’ Brandon belt homers back in roster

In the fourth inning on Wednesday, Brandon Belt worked on an eight at-bat, eventually working his way to a full count. Belt then threw a 403-foot solo home run into the Royals’ bullpen beyond the center field wall at Oracle Park, to loud and relieved cheers from 25,527 San Francisco Giants fans who had been waiting for a months since their captain returned from the wounded. listing.

Circling the bases, Belt said he thought, “Thank God I didn’t suck today.”

“I was just happy that I was able to do something at that time to help the team,” he continued. “It was just fun to be back on the pitch, and you kind of forget that feeling.”

A home run was not on Belt’s mind when he entered the box. On the third pitch, he fouled a bunt attempt.

“Hitting a home run there is much less likely than reaching base,” Belt said. “I was just trying to start something, get on the base and see what happened, but luckily it worked out a little better.”

The homer was Belt’s first hit since returning from IL, where he had been on since May 18 with an inflamed right knee.

“I know what I want my approach to be when I go up there, and I stick with it no matter what,” said Belt, who didn’t let a first-inning strikeout affect his next at bat. “Earlier in my career, I probably would have freaked out a bit and tried to change something.”

Manager Gabe Kapler didn’t rush Belt back, using him on the bench on Tuesday before starting him as the designated hitter on Wednesday. Despite the 3-2 loss to Kansas City, Kapler said the team can start its next series in Pittsburgh, buoyed by Belt’s return.

“It was a jolt today just seeing him in the dugout and taking down the at-bats,” Kapler said. “Obviously yesterday he was on the roster, and it’s a bit different to know that he’s going to come back in the game a few times. It’s a big confidence boost.”

Although Belt hopes to be back at first base on Friday, making runs again wouldn’t be a bad thing.

“To continue to hit home runs at DH would be nice,” he said. “That sounds kind of fun.”

Kikue Higuchi (she/she) is a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: kikue.higuchi@sfchronicle.com

About Dwaine Pinson

Check Also

7 things to know about Austin’s cuisine: noodles from San Fran’s ramen shop in town

Editor’s note: We understood. It can be hard to keep up with the fast pace …