Belt continues spring streak, homers in SF win

Belt continues spring streak, homers in SF win

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Brandon Belt maintained his torrid hitting Friday, clobbering a three-run homer in a four-run third inning that helped the San Francisco Giants top the Kansas City Royals, 8-5.

Belt is batting .591 (13-for-22) with five home runs and 15 RBIs in his last seven games. He victimized Royals starter Ian Kennedy in the third inning after pitcher Johnny Cueto hit a leadoff single and Angel Pagan walked with two outs.

Cueto legs out a single

One inning earlier, Conor Gillaspie homered with two outs for the Giants, who entered the day with a National League-high 31 homers.

Gillaspie's solo home run

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San Francisco's power complemented the efforts of right-hander Cueto, whose six-inning stint was his longest of the Cactus League season. He also pitched six innings against Double-A hitters in a Minor League intrasquad game last Sunday. Cueto allowed Kansas City three runs and eight hits while walking none and striking out six. Two of those runs came on designated hitter Travis Snider's second-inning homer, which brought in Reymond Fuentes after he tripled to lead off the inning.

Fuentes' leadoff triple

Cueto declared himself ready for the regular season. "I felt really good, really comfortable. Everything was working," San Francisco's No. 2 starter said.

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Kennedy didn't fare as well, surrendering five runs and six hits in four innings.

"Well, I got my pitch count up. I fell behind a lot, threw a lot of pitches," said Kennedy. "One of those Spring Training outings where you just try to grind through it.

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"I was hoping to go deeper into the game to get more up and downs before the season starts. But I got one more outing."

Span's two-run single

Denard Span widened the Giants' lead to 7-3 with a bases-loaded, two-run single in the sixth inning off Joakim Soria. That proved essential for the Giants, as Kansas City's Cody Decker hit a two-run homer in the seventh.

Decker's two-run homer

Up next for the Royals: The Royals return to Surprise Stadium on Saturday for a 3:05 p.m. CT game against the A's, live on MLB.TV -- and fans can listen to a free webcast. Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang gets the start as he tries to secure a spot on the 25-man roster. Wang will be followed by Danny Duffy, Brian Duensing, David Huff and Peter Moylan.

Up next for the Giants: Jeff Samardzija will make his final Arizona tuneup for the regular season Saturday when he confronts his original big league club, the Chicago Cubs, in a 1:05 p.m. PT encounter at Mesa, live on MLB.TV. John Lackey will oppose the Shark, who owns an 8.53 spring ERA.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.