SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt couldn't say specifically how his manager's pointers might have helped, but he gave due credit to Bruce Bochy on Monday night for possibly turning around the first baseman's rough 2013 start at the plate.
After an extended personal batting session earlier in the day in which Bochy provided his own evaluations and suggestions, Belt delivered his biggest hit of the year off the bench in a 5-4 Giants victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park.
Belt's one-out opposite field single against tough Arizona lefty Tony Sipp (1-1) brought home Andres Torres, who led off the ninth with a single and was sacrificed to second by Brandon Crawford. It was Belt's first walk-off hit since he was with the Giants' Double-A Richmond club in 2010.
Hitting just .183 through the first 19 games, Belt worked for nearly an hour before regular batting practice, with Bochy watching intently. The manager's primary tip to Belt was to cut down on the motion in his body during his swing and allow the bat to do the work.
"I definitely practiced on it before the game," said Belt. "I'm not sure what happened when I got up to bat, but I felt better. I know I saw the ball better, so I think that's the main thing."
Was it the big hit that Belt needed psychologically to get his season going after such a torrid spring training?
"I don't think I needed it," he said. "There's a ton of season left. I've been through stuff before, and I've come out better on the other side, so I know it's going to happen again. It's just a matter of time."
Two days ago, many of the same people fretting over Belt were also worried a bit about 2012 MVP Buster Posey, homerless and hitting in the low .200s. But Posey set the table for Belt with his second home run in two days, a two-run shot in the eighth off Arizona right-hander David Hernandez that tied the score.
Hernandez got an opening strike against the Giants catcher, then backed him off the plate with two inside pitches. On his fourth offering, however, Posey launched one to dead center that cleared the wall with plenty to spare.
The usually stoic Posey pumped his fist as he rounded first base. Clearly, he's happy to be snapping out of his own doldrums. He also had an RBI double in the first inning, and in the sixth, was robbed of an extra-base hit on a great diving catch by former Giant Cody Ross in the right field corner.
"In Milwaukee, I started feeling good there, and I felt like I've had a pretty good approach," Posey said. "It's just a matter of keeping that up, getting good pitches to hit and getting the barrel on it.
Before Posey's blast, the game had pretty much been the Ross homecoming show. Ross, playing in his first game at AT&T since he departed the Giants as a free agent after the 2011 season, received hearty applause from the sellout crowd when his name was announced.
Ross promptly stroked a two-run single in the top of the first off Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong and later made the amazing catch on Posey's ball.
Vogelsong, who gave up seven hits and four runs over seven innings, left the game trailing 4-2 after he gave up a solo homer in the fifth to opposing starter Wade Miley and another to former Oakland A's standout Eric Chavez in the sixth.
"Obviously the home run to the pitcher was a missed pitch, but I thought Chavez hit a good pitch," Vogelsong said. "I felt decent."
The Giants once again got a strong relief effort. Jean Machi pitched a scoreless eighth, and Jose Mijares got the first two outs of ninth after Posey had tied it. After a double by Cliff Pennington, Sergio Romo (1-1) came in to get the final out and then the victory when the Giants rallied.
Arizona (Patrick Corbin 2-0) at Giants (Matt Cain 0-2), 7:15 p.m., CSN Plus