Originally posted on 22gigantes  |  Last updated 3/18/12
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Giants manager Bruce Bochy might need a little luck of the Irish soon. In the next two-and-a-half weeks, he’ll have to decide who will snag the team’s final Opening Day roster spot. And there are two guys making a serious case for Opening Day honors: Gregor Blanco and Brandon Belt.

Belt smashed his third home run of the spring and Blanco went 2-for-4 to help the Giants play to a 3-3 tie against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch in Glendale. [box score] [video highlights]

Belt’s homer came off L.A. starter Aaron Harang in the first inning, after Blanco singled and stole second base to lead off the game. Blanco, who also made a nice run-saving diving catch in centerfield tonight, now has seven stolen bases, tops in all of baseball. Belt, meanwhile, is tied with Melky Cabrera and another Opening Day roster candidate—catcher Hector Sanchez—for the team lead in home runs.

Belt and Blanco teamed up again in the 8th inning, with the Dodgers leading 3-2. Blanco led off the inning with a double, moved to third on a groundout, then scored on a Belt sac fly to tie the game.

The Giants have three ties this spring and have lost just 4 of their 18 total games played.

Starter Brian Burres went three innings and allowed a run on three hits.

Top Giants hitter: Blanco (2-for-4, 2 R, SB)
Top Giants pitcher: Burres (3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K)
Key moment of the game: Belt’s sacrifice fly in the 8th to bring home Blanco with the tying run.

The Giants (11-4-3) face a San Diego Padres (7-8) split squad tomorrow at Scottsdale Stadium with first pitch set for 1:05 p.m. (PT). Left-hander Madison Bumgarner (0-1, 3.72) goes up against righty Edinson Volquez (0-0, 5.40). The game can be heard on KNBR 680 AM.

NOTES: The Dodgers set a Cactus League attendance record with 13,655 fans in attendance … San Francisco beat Oakland 7-2 in today’s other split squad game … First baseman Aubrey Huff was a late scratch in the day game due to lower back tightness. Bruce Bochy doesn’t think it’s serious … Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti said today that Ryan Vogelsong might start the season as the “long man” while he works up his arm strength. He hopes Vogey can make his first start between April 10–15 … The Dodgers wore green jerseys in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.




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