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Rockies try to put Belt away, make it two straight over Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt will attempt to hit a home run in a fifth consecutive game, but will have to do so against something he and his teammates haven't seen in a while when the San Francisco Giants host the Colorado Rockies on Friday night for the second contest of their four-game series.

The Rockies got the jump in the series matching National League West clubs when Carlos Gonzalez delivered a two-run single in the 12th inning Thursday night for a 5-3 victory.

Belt helped the Giants earlier rally from a 3-0 deficit with a two-run homer in the sixth inning.

His 10th homer of the season extended the longest run for a Giant since Randy Winn went deep in four straight games in 2005.

Belt's home run came off Rockies starter Chad Bettis, after he'd homered off the Cincinnati Reds' Austin Brice, Tyler Mahle and Matt Harvey in a three-game series that ended Wednesday.

All four are right-handers. In fact, all 10 of Belt's home runs this season have come off righties.

Then again, he's gotten more than twice as many opportunities against right-handers, as Thursday was the 14th straight game in which the Giants have been opposed by a righty starter.

That run will end Friday when the Rockies send southpaw Kyle Freeland (3-4, 3.42) to the mound. Belt is 0-for-7 in his career against Freeland with three strikeouts.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged after Thursday's game that he had planned to give Belt the day off Friday, but left the ballpark having to reconsider.

"We've all seen him do this," he said of the power surge. "We'll see how guys are feeling at the ballpark (Friday, following the 12-inning game)."

Freeland has been especially tough on lefties this season, allowing a .146 batting average with one home run.

The Giants have fared better in games started by left-handers (11-7) than righties (11-16) this season.

Freeland has gone 2-2 with a 3.22 ERA in four career starts against the Giants.

The Giants will counter with a lefty of their own, Derek Holland (2-4, 4.79), who has won two of his three starts in May after a winless April.

Holland has faced the Rockies once in his career, getting rocked for a pair of home runs in a 12-4 loss last season. That left him with an 0-1 record and 13.50 ERA against Colorado.

One of the two homers Holland surrendered was hit by DJ LeMahieu, who is currently out of the Rockies' lineup with what has been diagnosed as a small broken bone in his left thumb. He is expected to be out three weeks.

Even before they took the field Thursday, the Rockies felt they'd achieved a victory of sorts when the news on LeMahieu was milder than the torn ligament some had feared.

"Overall, I think it's really good news," LeMahieu insisted. "It's still pretty sore, so I didn't really know what was going on. I had never really had that type of pain before. But overall, the news was good. It was not great news, but it certainly could have been worse."

Daniel Castro, LeMahieu's replacement at second base in the series opener, contributed a two-run double.
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