Belt making strides at the plate for the Giants - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Belt making strides at the plate for the Giants

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JANIE McCAULEY/AP Baseball Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Madison Bumgarner is quick to remind Brandon Belt who hit the first home run between them this year.

Yes, the pitcher won that one.

And it's Bumgarner taking the credit for getting Belt back on track, too.

All but gone are those constant "Baby Giraffe" references to Belt and his long neck that he dealt with all of last season as a rookie, when someone even sent a giraffe plant to the clubhouse as a gift. While he has never minded his nickname much, he is a lot happier now being known for something else.

At last, the talk has turned to Belt's long swing. He is emerging as a steady force in the lineup the way the San Francisco Giants had so hoped he would.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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