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What we learned as Giants blast four homers in win over Mets

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Brandon Belt

As they shuffled the 40-man roster on Tuesday afternoon, the Giants ended up with just 25 players against the New York Mets, about the last thing you would expect from this front office and coaching staff. It didn't even come close to mattering. 

An early explosion turned into an 8-0 win on the first night of a six-game road trip that kicks off a stretch of 16 games in 16 days. The Giants improved to 39-25 on the road and 81-44 overall. They've had the best record in the National League for 101 days, their highest total since the franchise moved to San Francisco. 

The Giants jumped out to a 7-0 lead early on the strength of four homers, including two by Brandon Belt, who had a four-hit night. The four-homer game was their 12th of the year and fifth of the second half, and pushed them to 191 for the season. They're on pace for 247 homers, which would break the franchise record by a dozen. 

Sammy Long didn't need nearly that much support, taking a shutout into the sixth before turning it over to the bullpen. In a spot start, Long picked up his second career win. 

The night wasn't completely flawless. Buster Posey left after four innings with right knee inflammation, although it did seem minor. Here are three more things to know:

Sooooooo Close

For years, Belt has had to hear it from fans who believe that 20 homers is a magic number that a first baseman should reach above all else, and he has come close on occasion. Belt hit 18 homers in 2015 and 18 more in just 104 games in 2017. He has been on pace for 30-plus many times in his career, but late-season injuries have ended a few runs. 

 

Barring another injury, Belt is going to shoot past 20 -- and likely on this road trip. He hit a solo shot off the apple at Citi Field to get the scoring started and then followed LaMonte Wade Jr.'s blast in the fourth with one of his own. That was Belt's 19th, a career high. 

This was Belt's seventh career multi-homer game and second since coming off the IL. He also did it on August 7 in Milwaukee. Wade and Belt became the ninth set of Giants to go back-to-back this season, and there has been a theme: the last three times have included Belt. 

Slingin' Sammy

Long's return to the big leagues ended up being perhaps the best start of his rookie season. Long went 5 1/3 shutout innings, striking out four and allowing just three hits and a walk. He showed good command, and while the curveball is the pitch he is known for, his changeup was particularly sharp against some of New York's better bats. 

This was the second-longest of Long's nine appearances and the first start in which he didn't allow a run. The Giants expect to get Anthony DeSclafani back in Atlanta, but if they need him to rest his ankle a bit more, Long looks more than capable of continuing to fill in. 

Blasting Off 

After hitting six homers in three games in Oakland, the Giants crushed four more in the first four innings Tuesday. They loaded up on left-handers against Tylor Megill, who has had a good rookie season but has been hit hard by lefties, and it worked out beautifully. 

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Belt and Mike Yastrzemski hit long shots in the first two innings and Wade and Belt tacked on in the four-run fourth. The final run came on an RBI single by Brandon Crawford, which snapped a streak of 15 consecutive runs scored on homers that went back to last Wednesday's game against the Mets. 

Yastrzemski got to 20 homers for the second time in the big leagues. He also hit 10 last year in the 60-game season. Wade isn't far behind with 17, and he's averaging about one every 13 at-bats, which is tremendous. 

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