Cueto improves league-leading ERA, Belt powers Giants to first series win

It took Angels pitcher Jaime Barria an MLB-record 21 pitches to get Brandon Belt out

However, Belt had another at-bat in the game that was just as significant as any of the hits, even though he made an out.

Brandon Belt had a home run and two singles, and Johnny Cueto threw six scoreless innings to propel the San Francisco Giants to a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday afternoon in Anaheim, Calif. They ultimately needed just three hours and 45 minutes to put the Angels away. In all, forty pitches were seen by Belt. It was the last pitch of the day for Barria, who was soon back in the clubhouse, where at least he would no longer be tormented by Belt.

It did not. Barria threw a changeup that Belt stroked into right field for a hit. The previous high of 20 pitches in a plate appearance since 1988 was when Houston's Ricky Gutierrez struck out against Cleveland's Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, according to Retrosheet.

It was hardly the only time Belt forced his opponent to work.

However, it looked to energize Belt, who had several hits - including a home in the Giants' 4-2 triumph. The first baseman kept his streak alive despite sitting out Friday's game against the Angels on his 30th birthday.

The Angels' two runs came in on Mike Trout's homer in the eighth inning off Giants reliever Cory Gearrin, Trout's major-league-best ninth of the season.

Belt saw eight pitches in his second at-bat against Barria in the third inning, this time singling as the Giants loaded the bases again, this time with no outs.

For what it's worth, Barria escaped a 49-pitch first inning without giving up a run. He allowed two runs and six hits, struck out one and walked one.

Instead, Longoria smashed a 2-0 curveball over the fence and provided Cueto with some additional cushion. Cueto took a no-hitter into the sixth and struck out seven. Cueto induced a groundball from Justin Upton, but a misplay by Brandon Crawford allowed the baserunners to reach safely.

Cueto twice fanned Shohei Ohtani by getting the Japanese two-way sensation to flail at changeups.

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