MLB

Giants-Diamondbacks Preview

On the same day they placed right-hander Matt Cain on the disabled list, the San Francisco Giants had a player they hoped would be a key part of the offense go down with an injury.

With Brandon Belt unlikely to play, the Giants look to rebound from their first defeat Wednesday night when they try to close out a ninth straight series road win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

After Pablo Sandoval went to Boston and Hunter Pence suffered a broken forearm, San Francisco was counting on Belt to have a bounce-back season after he was limited to 61 games in 2014 due to concussion-related issues.

The first baseman was headed in that direction, hitting .357 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 70 spring at-bats. He also was 1 for 2 with an RBI Tuesday, but left in the fourth inning with a strained groin.

"Honestly, I don't think it's too bad," Belt said. "It's a little frustrating, but I'm pretty optimistic about doing what I have to do to get back out there."

The banged-up Giants (1-1) scored enough runs to win the second of this three-game set at Chase Field. Buster Posey went 3 for 3 with a home run and two RBIs, but starter Ryan Vogelsong was knocked around in a 7-6 defeat.

San Francisco's rotation is also in rough shape to begin the season. Jake Peavy had his start pushed back due to back stiffness, and Cain is out indefinitely with a flexor tendon strain in his right forearm.

Chris Heston (0-0, 5.06 ERA in 2014) will try to step up after getting recalled from Triple-A Fresno. The rookie right-hander earned the opportunity to fill in by posting a 2.40 ERA in five appearances in spring training.

"If you have a little bit of success, it definitely helps your confidence," Heston told MLB's official website. "I'll try to ride it as long as possible."

Heston made his only career start last September, allowing three runs over four innings in a 9-3 home win over San Diego.

He'll attempt to quiet an Arizona offense that has totaled 11 runs and 17 hits in the first two games. Paul Goldschmidt finished with two hits Tuesday, while David Peralta and Jake Lamb delivered three-run home runs.

Lamb has a club-record seven RBIs in his first two games and is 6 for 16 with two homers and two doubles in his six career contests versus San Francisco.

''I feel comfortable at the plate right now. I just want to keep it going,'' Lamb said ''It's more comfortable in the clubhouse, on the field, just more comfortable with my swing, too. I didn't feel right last year, and it was kind of just a battle right when I got here. I feel really good. It's just about me maintaining it.''

The Diamondbacks hope to continue that production for Jeremy Hellickson (1-5, 4.52), who is trying to start fresh after injuries and ineffectiveness have derailed his career over the past two seasons.

Hellickson went 27-21 with a 3.06 ERA over his first three years with the Rays, winning the 2011 AL Rookie of the Year.

The right-hander, though, posted a career-worst 5.17 ERA in 2013 before undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his throwing elbow in January that cost him the first three months of last season.

Hellickson, acquired for a pair of low-level prospects in November, overcame a dead arm period in spring training before allowing one run over five innings in a 5-1 win over the Chicago Cubs in his final tuneup on Friday.

In his only career start at Chase Field, he gave up five runs over 4 2-3 innings in a 6-1 defeat Aug. 6, 2013.

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