9/10/2013 10:59 P.M. ET
Belt's confidence grows along with offensive numbers
By Eric Gilmore / Special to MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants first baseman Brandon Belt was batting just .255 after going hitless for the sixth time in seven games Aug. 1.
Since then, Belt has been a hitting machine. In 34 games entering Tuesday, he has hit .354 with five home runs, 10 doubles, three triples and 16 RBIs. He's had four hits twice, three hits three times and two hits six times. What's more, he's raised his average 28 points to .283 and solidified himself as a middle-of-the order hitter for the Giants.
Belt hit third Tuesday night against Colorado, one night after going 2-for-5 with an RBI double and a walk-off single in the 10th inning in a 3-2 Giants victory.
"I think right now the only way you can raise your average on a personal level is to get multi-hit games," Belt said. "It's nice to have those. Any time you can get a multi-hit game you've got a good chance of driving in a run. Just being productive somehow on the offensive side."
Belt has already set single-season career highs for home runs (15) and doubles (32). With 55 RBIs he's one shy of his career best. He's on pace to set a career-high batting average.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Belt has always been a confident hitter but that a combination of more experience and a few adjustments to his grip and swing have allowed him to produce even more in pressure situations.
"I think the adjustments he's made have made it easier for him to deliver in those conditions," Bochy said. "He's a guy that's played in some important games. If you go through the playoffs and World Series, he had to be able to handle those tough situations. It's all about performing under pressure.
"That's what good players can do. I think he's always had that in him, but no, the fact he's got better plate coverage, closed some holes in his swing, he's going to even come through more. He's going to be that much more consistent with the bat .It's all about growing as a player, maturing, handling everything in a better way, the ups and downs."
Petit looking ahead to next start
SAN FRANCISCO -- Just five days after nearly pitching a perfect game against Arizona, Giants right-hander Yusmeiro Petit will make his next start Wednesday afternoon against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park.
Petit has been flooded with phone calls and emails from friends, family members and fans, congratulating him on his one-hit shutout and brush with perfection that ended with Eric Chavez's single with two outs in the ninth.
Petit said job No. 1 for him now is to put Friday night's emotional outing in the past and concentrate on the present.
"The key element now is to try and keep my concentration, to go ahead and study the hitters I have to face tomorrow and remind myself that the page that I wrote was a very beautiful page, but it's in the past," Petit said Tuesday. "So I have to concentrate on tomorrow's game."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he's not concerned about Petit getting too amped up or losing his focus.
"You saw how he handled that game," Bochy said. "He stayed composed. He wasn't caught up into what he was about to accomplish or close to accomplishing, and even when he gave up the hit, it didn't fluster him. He was just excited about a one-hit shutout. ... That's how excited he was about the game itself."
Petit is 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in his first three starts with San Francisco. That streak started with a 5-3 Giants win at Colorado on Aug. 27. He allowed two runs on six hits over six innings, striking out six and walking three. In his next start, at Arizona, he gave up two runs on seven hits over six innings, striking out a career-high 10 and walking one in an 8-2 Giants win.
That set the stage for the first career shutout and complete game of his career when he struck out seven, allowed just one hit and walked none in a 3-0 Giants victory over Arizona.
What's been the key to his success?
"First of all, you have to keep the ball down and throw strikes," Petit said. "Secondly, I have been fortunate to get ahead of the hitters and especially the big guys in the lineup, keep them from hitting with the barrel of the bat, the middle of the lineup guys. Not that I'm not concentrating on the other guys, but the key thing for me is that I try to dominate those guys, and that has been very important for me."
Affeldt to return Wednesday; Gaudin needs more time
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants left-hander Jeremy Affeldt will be activated from the disabled list Wednesday, but right-hander Chad Gaudin won't come off the DL for at least a few more days.
Affeldt has been on the DL since July 21 with a groin injury, while Gaudin has been on the list since Aug. 20 with right side carpal tunnel syndrome. Both pitchers threw simulated games Monday. Affeldt was deemed ready to be activated.
"That's good news," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday. "I did talk to Chad about his situation. He may face some hitters one more time for his sense of comfort then activate him if all goes well there."
Gaudin will likely throw another simulated game Thursday at Los Angeles before the opener of a four-game series against the Dodgers.
Affeldt threw his third simulated game Tuesday and said it was his "best overall, stuff wise, rhythm wise," of the three. "I was able to feel like my body was allowing me to be aggressive, not tentative when I went to throw."
Before Wednesday's game against Colorado, Affeldt took some fielding practice.
"Fielded some bunts, turned double plays, stuff like that, and it felt pretty good," he said. "It's not going to be 100 percent until Spring Training because I've been beating it up for six weeks trying to get it back.
"It's not like it's had a lot of rest or rehab. The goal is to just get me out there a few times to finish off healthy then let the offseason finish off the healing process."
Eric Gilmore is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.