ANAHEIM, Calif. — Brandon Belt hung in for an epic 21-pitch at-bat before flying out, but later homered to lead Johnny Cueto and the San Francisco Giants over the Los Angeles Angels, 4-2, on Sunday.
Belt hit 16 foul balls, including 11 in a row, off rookie righthander Jaime Barria in the first inning in the majors’ longest at-bat since records began in 1988. The previous high of 20 pitches was when Houston’s Ricky Gutierrez struck out against Cleveland’s Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, according to Retrosheet.
The Giants said the at-bat last 12 minutes, 45 seconds, when Belt finally line out to rightfielder Kole Calhoun. Belt swung and missed just once, and was greeted with high-fives when he returned to the dugout.
“I wasn’t going to give it up and the pitcher wasn’t either,” Belt said. “It made for a good battle. If it helped get a little bit locked in for later in the game, it was worth it.
“If I’m in the field and somebody does it, I can’t stand it, but I wasn’t going to give in. I basically had to apologize to everybody after that.
“You’ve got to give it to [Barria]. He kept on throwing strikes.”
Belt singled and scored in the third and launched a leadoff homer to right against Blake Parker in the fifth. Belt saw a total of 38 pitches in his first three at-bats, then hit the first pitch his last two times up.
Cueto (2-0) took a no-hitter into the sixth, allowed only two hits and struck out seven in six shutout innings. He lowered his ERA to 0.35.
Cueto twice fanned DH Shohei Ohtani, who had one hit in four trips. Ohtani is batting .333 with a .997 OPS.
Barria threw 49 pitches in the first inning but got out of a jam. He left after loading the bases to start the third inning and two of those runners scored, one on Evan Longoria’s two-run homer off Noe Ramirez.
The Angels were scoreless until Trout hit a two-run homer in the eighth, his big league-leading ninth and his third in as many games.