Belt launches Giants' first Splash Hit since '14

Belt launches Giants' first Splash Hit since '14

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt homered into McCovey Cove at AT&T Park in the fourth inning of Wednesday's 2-1 Giants victory over the Red Sox, ending a nearly 21-month drought of Giants Splash Hits at the waterfront ballpark.

Belt's game-tying solo home run off Boston starter David Price marked the 69th time a San Francisco player has hit one into the waters of McCovey Cove on the fly and the first since Belt did it against the Padres' Andrew Cashner on Sept. 25, 2014.

It also turned out to be a critical moment in a one-run game the Giants won after Price and San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner staged a pitchers' duel most of the night.

All three runs in the game scored on home runs. Belt's was the only one to reach McCovey Cove.

"I think it's one of those games where you watch MadBum go out there and pitch the way that he did, it's almost like we know if we get a couple of runs we're in good position to win," Belt said. "Fortunately we just put up enough."

McCovey Cove was once the domain of home run king Barry Bonds, who hit 35 of his 762 career home runs into the water. That's more than half of the total Splash Hits by the Giants' entire franchise.

Belt doesn't have that many. The Giants first baseman has five Splash Hits in his career, third behind Bonds and former San Francisco slugger Pablo Sandoval, who has seven.

"When you think about it, a home run's a home run," Belt said. "But it could theoretically give you that momentum that you're looking for, especially in tight games like this. I don't think it really matters how it gets done, as long as it gets done."

There have been 107 home runs overall hit into the waters beyond the right-field brick wall at AT&T Park. The Giants obviously have the most, but Belt acknowledged the players were fully aware how long it had been since one of their own did it.

"We knew it had been awhile," Belt said. "We were looking to move on to the next number on the list. I just keep on thinking that it's going to end up being up there for like three days and then somebody's going to hit 70."

Opposing players have hit into McCovey Cove 38 times, including three in between Belt's two blasts. Ben Zobrist of the Chicago Cubs did it most recently when he homered off George Kontos earlier this season on May 20.

Michael Wagaman is a contributor to based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.