NL West Report: Belt powers Giants to division lead, D'Backs falter

Victor Decolongon

There is a surprise at the top of the NL West standings in the early going, as Major League home run leader Brandon Belt has lifted San Francisco to the top of the division.

It has been a story of two sluggers so far in the NL West, Brandon Belt and Mark Trumbo are tied for the MLB lead with five home runs each, but see their teams sitting at opposite ends of the division.

Belt's Giants sit atop the division with a 6-2 record, thanks in most part to a 4-1 record against Trumbo's Diamondbacks, who are in the cellar at 2-8. To put it in perspective, Tim Hudson has as many wins in games involving the Diamondbacks as the Diamondbacks do.

Everyone's preseason favorite, the Dodgers, are a half game behind their arch-rivals at 6-3 despite some (completely predictable) drama involving their outfielders and the continued absence of Clayton Kershaw. The Padres, meanwhile, have struggled mightily at the plate and sit in fourth place in the division at 2-5. Here's a bit more on where each team stands:

Arizona Diamondbacks (2-8, 5 GB)

The Week that Was: The Diamondbacks held their opponents under seven runs just twice this week en route to a 1-5 record. Arizona dropped all three games it played against the Giants this week sandwiched around losing two of thee to the Rockies at Coors Field. The bright spots for Arizona were Trumbo and Wade Miley, who allowed just two runs on seven hits in eight innings against the Rockies Sunday in the Diamondbacks' lone win of the week.

The Week to Come: After dropping the series opener to the Giants Tuesday, the Diamondbacks have two more in San Francisco before returning home to Chase Field to take on the Dodgers and Mets.

Disabled List: OF Cody Ross (15-day, hip), LHP Matt Reynolds (15-day, torn UCL), RHP Daniel Hudson (15-day, torn UCL), RHP David Hernandez (60-day, torn UCL), LHP Patrick Corbin (60-day, torn UCL)

Player of the Week: Mark Trumbo
Trumbo went 6-for-21 this week, a .286 average, but five of his six hits were of the extra-base variety, including four home runs. So far, Trumbo has been exactly the streaky power hitter Arizona traded for, and one of his hot streaks coincided with a visit to Coors Field, a formula for an excellent week at the plate.

Los Angeles Dodgers (6-3, 0.5 GB)

The Week that Was: The Dodgers put together a 3-2 record this week, getting wins over the Padres and Tigers, but dropping two of three to the Giants in 2014's first series at Dodger Stadium. Two of the Dodgers wins this week came via good starts from free agent aquisition Dan Haren, who shut down both the Padres and Tigers. Matt Kemp also returned to the LA lineup and hit a pair of home runs in his first four games of the season. On a sour note, the Dodgers lost catcher A.J. Ellis until mid-May with a knee injury.

The Week to Come: The Dodgers wrap up their series with Detroit today before embarking on a road trip that will take them to Arizona and San Francisco.

Disabled List: RHP Josh Beckett (15-day, thumb), RHP Chad Billingsley (15-day, torn UCL), LHP Scott Elbert (60-day, torn UCL), C A.J. Ellis (15-day, knee), LHP Clayton Kershaw (15-day, back), RHP Brian Wilson (15-day, elbow)

Player of the Week: Dan Haren
Haren got a pair of wins this week, allowing just two runs (one earned) on seven in 12 innings of work, walking one and striking out 10. Haren has been historically good in April, sporting a 3.14 career ERA in the season's first month, and playing in the favorable home environment of Dodger Stadium should help him this season.

San Diego Padres (2-5, 3.5 GB)

The Week that Was: San Diego dropped four of five games this week, losing single games to the Dodgers and Indians and Dodgers and two of three against the Marlins. The struggles for San Diego were mostly at the plate as they scored just 13 runs in their five games this week, almost half of them coming in Tuesday's 8-6 loss in Cleveland. For the season, the Padres sport a .595 OPS, second-worst in baseball to the Braves.

The Week to Come: The Padres will makeup Monday's rainout in Cleveland as part of a doubleheader Wednesday before returning home to Petco Park to take on the Tigers and Rockies.

Disabled List: RHP Josh Johnson (15-day, forearm), RHP Casey Kelly (15-day, torn UCL), LHP Cory Luebke (60-day, torn UCL), OF Cameron Maybin (15-day, biceps), OF Carlos Quentin (15-day, knee), RHP Joe Wieland (15-day, elbow)

Player of the Week: Everth Cabrera
Not a lot of choices for the Padres' player of the week, with five games each starter only pitched once and their offensive struggles have been documented. That said, Cabrera was 8-for-22 this week, a .364 average, with four doubles. Honorable mention to Yasmani Grandal, who went 7-for-12 in four games this week.

San Francisco Giants (6-2, 0 GB)

The Week that Was: The Giants sprinted out to the division lead, going 5-1 this week, taking a pair in Arizona, two of three from the Dodgers, and winning their home opener against the Diamondbacks Tuesday. Brandon Belt captured most of the headlines with a trio of home runs, but Angel Pagan and Michael Morse combined to go 20-for-42, a .476 average, for the week with seven extra-base hits. Tim Hudson also posted a 1.15 ERA in 15 2/3 innings in his first two starts in a Giants uniform. Also, the Batkid threw out the first pitch at the San Francisco home opener.

The Week to Come: The Giants will continue their season-opening homestand with two more against Arizona before welcoming two more division foes, the Rockies and Dodgers, to AT&T Park.

Disabled List: LHP Jeremy Affeldt (15-day, knee), 2B Marco Scutaro (15-day, back)

Player of the Week: Brandon Belt
The Baby Giraffe is making it awfully hard for Bruce Bochy to keep him out of the lineup so far in 2014. Three of his five home runs this season came within the past week. Just shy of his 26th birthday, Belt could be on the verge of a breakout season, which would give the Giants a nice complementary piece to Buster Posey in their lineup.

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