ANAHEIM -- So far in 2012, Giants reliever Shane Loux has been relegated to the role of the mop-up guy, always coming into the game when the club was trailing by a few runs.But after seven appearances this season without pitching in a game the Giants won, Loux finally saw action in a Giants victory with his sixth-inning appearance in Monday's 5-3 win against the Angels. "No one knows their role more than I do, and I'm OK with that," Loux said. "Every once in a while, though, it's nice when the phone rings, and they say your name and you look up at the scoreboard and it's a one-run game." Before Monday, the Giants (38-30) had been trailing by an average of 3.43 runs when Loux entered. They were never leading, nor was the game ever tied. The last time he pitched in a win came on Aug. 2, 2009, when he was with the Angels. He had spent all of '10 and '11 in the Minors. But since his first outing of the season on May 11, Loux has a 1.35 ERA in his 13 1/3 innings and has given up runs in just one of them. "He commands the ball well, got some movement on it, and has a good breaking ball," manager Bruce Bochy said. Though he's still looking for his first win since 2009, Loux said he's just glad to have pitched a meaningful inning as part of a victory. "It's nice," Loux said. "I like getting work, but I like getting work to help the team win. "I got a win in '03, and I got [two] wins in '09. Wait another few years and I'll get another."
Confidence is key to Belt's success
ANAHEIM -- Before he started his seven-game hitting streak, Brandon Belt wasn't quite himself.In 19 games from May 19-June 10, Belt was hitting .159 (7-for-44) with only two extra-base hits. There would be times when he would go consecutive days with a hit, but then go right back into a slump. The inconsistency took a toll on the 24-year-old's poise at the plate. "In the past, even recently, I was running low on confidence," Belt said. "That's a big part of my game. A big part of the reason I wasn't succeeding was because I couldn't keep that confidence level up. I'd do good for a couple games, and then I'd do bad for a few games. The consistency wasn't there, so the confidence went down a little bit." He has since worked on standing more upright in his swing and opening up a little bit, he said. His feet were too spread out before, and he wasn't bringing his hands to the ball quick enough. After making some adjustments to remedy those flaws, Belt is producing more consistently than he ever has. During his seven-game stretch, Belt is batting .455 (10-for-22) with two doubles and three home runs, including a 2-for-2 game in Monday night's win against the Angels. "I've been doing a couple of drills every day. One-handed drills that a lot of people do, but they've been helping me a great deal here lately," Belt said. "A combination of things have helped me get into that zone I need to." Not only is Belt hitting more consistently, but he's in the lineup on a more consistent basis, as well. He has started nine straight games for the Giants, and after Monday's win, manager Bruce Bochy said the fact that Belt is in the lineup more has led to more production from the first baseman. When a player knows he's going to be in the lineup even before he gets to the ballpark, it gives him a sense of comfort, Belt said. And being more comfortable before arriving to the park has led right into the game for Belt. "You can get ready knowing that you're going to be in there," Belt said. "Just that the coaching staff has confidence in you, it gives you confidence. So I think that's helped a lot."
Posey getting reacquainted with plays at plate
ANAHEIM -- With every play at the plate for the Giants, flashbacks of catcher Buster Posey's collision with Scott Cousins last season come into the minds of many.
When Matt Cain threw out Maicer Izturis at the plate on Mike Trout's comebacker in the fourth inning on Monday, Posey played it as well as he could have, shifting his legs out of the way to avoid a more dangerous play.
Though manager Bruce Bochy admits his catcher should probably be working on plays at the plate even more than he already does after breaking his leg and missing 117 games last year, he said Posey is definitely looking more confident in those situations this season.
"He looks more and more comfortable, which I knew he would be with time," Bochy said. "In Spring Training, he spent a lot of time trying to keep himself in a good position."
After taking a ball off the glove hand in Monday's game, Cain is doing "just fine," Bochy said. The ball hit the righty on his left wrist, and Bochy said he doesn't feel it will affect him.
The Class A San Jose Giants announced Tuesday that Municipal Stadium will host the 2013 California-Carolina League All-Star Game on June 18 next season.
"It is very exciting for the San Jose Giants organization and the city of San Jose to be hosting this event," Daniel Orum, president and CEO of the San Jose Giants, said in a statement. "The All-Star Game will be a tremendous opportunity to showcase our city and our stadium, while allowing fans to see the future stars of Major League Baseball."
It will be the first time that Municipal Stadium has hosted the California-Carolina League All-Star Game, but San Jose hosted California League All-Star games in 1949, '62, '84 and '85.
Following Tuesday night's game, Bochy said reliever George Kontos would not be with the team for the series finale against the Angels for personal reasons. He will be flying to the Chicago area to be with family for his grandfather's funeral.
The team will decide on Wednesday whether they want to place Kontos on the bereavement list, which would allow them to call up a pitcher in his absence. If they were to do so, Kontos would have to miss a minimum of three days.
Joe McIntyre is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.