Evan Longoria is fond of hitting at Chase Field, and the San Francisco third baseman will look for more success when the Giants visit the Arizona Diamondbacks in the finale of a two-game set in Phoenix on Wednesday.
Longoria smacked his seventh career homer in 21 games at the ballpark as the Giants rolled to an 8-0 victory on Tuesday in the opener of the series.
Longoria went 3-for-4 with four RBIs on a three-run blast and a run-scoring double to help San Francisco snap a three-game slide and send Arizona to its ninth straight loss and 12th in 13 games.
The big night raised Longoria’s career average at Chase Field to .360 (31-for-86). He also has seven doubles and 24 RBIs.
Longoria was batting just .194 with one homer and five RBIs in May prior to Tuesday’s game. The homer was his sixth of the season.
“Obviously, you want to get hits, but we all have to remind ourselves sometimes this game is hard and the results don’t come easy,” Longoria said of his tough May. “It’s nice when you have a night like (Tuesday) when you hit the ball hard, and they fall. It just makes all the hard work and adjustments and stuff we’re making in the cage on a daily basis worth it.”
Brandon Crawford contributed a three-run double in the first inning as the Giants rebounded from being swept in a three-game home series by the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers.
“That was a monster at-bat in the game, obviously,” San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said of Crawford’s double. “Nine pitches, and he finally won the battle, excellent at-bat there.”
The red-hot Crawford has seven homers and 22 RBIs this month.
The Diamondbacks had nine hits but couldn’t push across a run in their latest defeat. Arizona has scored two or fewer runs in 10 of the setbacks during the 13-game stretch.
The Diamondbacks stand 13 games behind the San Diego Padres in the National League West. Last-place Arizona is 12 1/2 games behind the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers and 11 1/2 games behind the Giants.
Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen is well aware that it will be tough for the club to get in the playoff mix.
“Three of the teams in front of us are running pretty hard right now, so we’re going to have to pay attention to all that,” Hazen told reporters. “I don’t have any real assessments to give you on what we’re thinking. But we need to start playing better. And that’s probably about as succinct as I can put it.”
Giants right-hander Johnny Cueto (3-1, 3.34 ERA) will look to continue his career-long success against Arizona.
The 35-year-old Cueto is 11-3 with 3.04 ERA in 18 career starts versus the Diamondbacks. He is 8-1 with a 3.30 ERA in 12 outings at Chase Field.
Eduardo Escobar is 3-for-9 with a homer against Cueto, while David Peralta (1-for-15, nine strikeouts) and Nick Ahmed (1-for-12) have struggled.
Cueto gave up one run and five hits in five innings while beating the Cincinnati Reds — his former club — last Thursday.
Diamondbacks right-hander Merrill Kelly (2-5, 5.05) has lost his past three starts and is winless over his last four.
The 32-year-old Kelly struck out a career-best 12 while giving up three runs and six hits over seven innings in Thursday’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Kelly is 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in four career starts against the Giants. Buster Posey (4-for-9) and Crawford (3-for-8) have hit well against him. Longoria is 1-for-3.
San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt aggravated a left side injury while batting in the ninth inning and left the game. Belt missed five games due to the injury before returning to play last Friday.
–Field Level Media