SAN FRANCISCO — Brandon Belt walked out of AT&T Park with a walking boot. Fortunately for the Giants, he was carrying it.
Belt got a hell of a scare Wednesday when he rolled his ankle on a slide into second base, but X-rays came back negative and Belt thinks he may be in the lineup Friday, when the Giants open a three-city trip at Coors Field. The first baseman was diagnosed with just a mild ankle sprain after a play that looked much more serious than it was.
"It didn't look great," Belt said. "But I feel like unless something happens (on Thursday) and I wake up and it's swollen -- I feel like I'll be able to play Friday."
Belt drew a walk with one out in the eighth and Brandon Crawford followed with a high pop-up that dropped in front of the mound. Padres catcher Derek Norris made a low throw to second that pulled Alexei Ramirez in front of the bag, and Belt clipped Ramirez as he went into his slide. Belt's left ankle then got caught in the dirt and twisted as he stumbled into the base. Trainers told Belt that the tumble actually helped, taking pressure off his leg.
Belt was tagged out as he knelt in pain a few feet behind second base. Trainer Dave Groeschner immediately ran out to check on Belt, who was able to walk off the field on his own and without a limp. As he headed for the dugout, Belt told manager Bruce Bochy that he could stay in the game. Once he got down the steps, though, Belt realized his day was over.
As he walked out of the clubhouse with just the slightest hint of a limp, Belt said the only hurdle will be moving side to side. That's the test that kept him out of the game in the ninth. He doesn't anticipate it being a problem, though. The Giants have about 48 hours between the injury and their first pitch in Denver.
"It felt a lot worse at first," Belt said. "But it really wasn't too bad."