April 23 (UPI) — San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a Major League Baseball record with a 21-pitch at-bat against the Los Angeles Angels.
Belt broke the record in the Giants’ 4-2 win Sunday at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, Calif. He bulked up starter Jaime Barria’s pitch count in the top of the first inning.
The Giants infielder stepped up to the plate as the second batter of the ballgame. Joe Panik singled to lead off the contest.
Belt faced a 1-2 count after fouling off Barria’s first offering, taking a ball on the second pitch and then missing on a 79.7-mph slider for a strike.
He fouled off the next two pitches to stay alive, but that was just the start of the long exchange. In total, Belt would foul off 16 pitches. He got a piece of 11 consecutive Barria offerings at the end of the at-bat, before he eventually hit one in play.
Belt smacked a 92.4-mph four-seam fastball to right field on Barria’s 21st offering. Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun snagged the ball for the first out of the inning.
The exchange took about 13 minutes. Belt saw the most pitches during an at-bat since Houston Astros shortstop Ricky Gutierrez and Cleveland Indians pitcher Bartolo Colon teamed up for 20 pitches in 1998. That at-bat ended with a strikeout.
“I don’t really remember [specifics], I just knew I was getting tired and I wanted to do something right there,” Belt said. “I didn’t want to give in. I put too much effort into that at-bat already. I wanted to get something to handle and he just kept making good pitches.”
Belt went 3-for-5 on the day, with a home run and two singles. He is hitting .288 this season.