A mid-game replacement lifted a listless Giants offense in the seventh inning, ending a three-game losing streak and giving the team a chance to salvage this homestand.
After replacing Pablo Sandoval in the sixth, Evan Longoria smacked a huge two-out, bases-loaded double (6) that drove in all three runners for a 3-2 lead the Giants bullpen made sure would not be relinquished.
Longoria was candid about how important that double was to him:
“I’ve been waiting for that hit in a Giants uniform for a long time. More than a year.”
Despite his struggles at the plate, Longoria said he remains confident for every at-bat. With a reluctant laugh, he said:
“I haven’t been looking at my average, because I know it’s not good. … But it doesn’t really take away from my mentality in those situations. For me, [I’m] just trying to go up there and have the mindset of every at-bat being a new opportunity.”
“Bases loaded doubles are always cool.”
Manager Bruce Bochy was happy for his third baseman, and he was happy that his team was able to capitalize:
“Great at-bat there, and we needed a big hit in that game. Well-played game. I just loved the energy that they brought out. We had a lot of action early in the game. Hit some balls hard. So it was good to have somebody deliver for us in a big way.”
Both starters had solid outings. Jeff Samardzija (ND, 2-1, 2.53 ERA) held the Dodgers to just two singles in his five innings, while walking one and striking out one. Los Angeles starter Kenta Maeda (ND, 3-2, 4.41 ERA) gave up seven hits in just five innings, but didn’t allow any runs while striking out three and walking two.
Samardzija felt a slight sense of urgency in his start today:
“I had good fastball location, ahead in the count a lot. We were just on the attack from the beginning. We knew we had to have a good day, because they were so hot, swinging the bats well.”
Instead, it was relief pitchers who had rough innings that determined the outcome of this game.
Tony Watson relieved Samardzija in the sixth. He recorded only one out, allowing two runs on four hits.
The two-run deficit lasted just an inning when Longoria’s base hit chased Ross Stripling (L, 1-12, 3.41 ERA), who was also limited to a third of an inning after giving up three runs on three hits.
Cody Bellinger wrote another chapter to his incredible start to the season, as he broke the record for most RBI before May 1 with his RBI single in the sixth. His 37 RBI passed Mark McGwire and Juan Gonzalez with 36 from the 1998 season.
Derek Holland was placed on the 10-day IL before Monday’s game. Ty Blach was subsequently recalled from Triple-A Sacramento. … Evan Longoria had his first multi-RBI game of the season, thanks to a three-run double in the seventh inning.