Giants' Brandon Belt to get X-ray on hand, said to be optimistic

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Belt to get X-ray, said to be optimistic about hand injury originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

DENVER -- The happy flight back to San Francisco came with a bit of trepidation. 

The Giants lost Brandon Belt to a hand injury during a 6-2 win at Coors Field on Sunday and manager Gabe Kapler said afterward that it was too soon to know if Belt would miss time. He underwent a test at Coors Field but it didn't give much clarity. 

"We got a fluoroscan after the game and it's inconclusive so we will get him X-rayed when we get back to San Francisco and obviously update you as we have more information," Kapler said. 

Belt was removed in the seventh inning Sunday after getting drilled by a 93 mph fastball while squaring to bunt. He initially stayed in the game to run the bases, but he ran over to get the hand wrapped during a pitching change and then did not come back out for the bottom of the inning. 

A fastball to the hand is about the worst thing for a hitter to experience, and it can be tricky to diagnose those injuries because of how many small bones there are in the area where Belt was hit. But there was some optimism Sunday that he would be OK. Brandon Crawford, his closest friend on the team, said Belt seemed in good spirits. 

"It's scary, especially when it's a fastball or a hard pitch either close to a guy's hand or on his hand or fingers, because there are so many little bones in there that you can break," Crawford said. "Your hands are pretty important in baseball, especially his throwing hand. It's scary, but from talking to him he seems like he should be all right and hopefully not miss too much time."

The Giants are off Monday before starting the final six-game homestand of the year Tuesday. They'll do so with a two-game lead in the division, so they do have some cushion, but losing Belt for any length of time would be a blow. He has been their best player in the second half, hitting 18 home runs, including three in the first two games of the sweep at Coors Field. Before he left, Belt had reached base three times and scored a run Sunday.

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Kapler said he didn't want to even speculate about what kind of a hit it would be to the lineup, noting that the Giants just weren't there yet from a testing perspective. He also backed Belt's decision to try and put a shift-beating bunt hit down against lefty Lucas Gilbreath.

"He knows when the best way for him to get on base is to put a bunt down, he knows when the best way to get on base is to take pitches, and he knows when the right time is to take a crack on putting a ball in the seats," Kapler said. "I'm not surprised. I thought it was a smart play against a tough lefty. I thought it was a good play."

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