Before going down with a broken finger thanks to an inside pitch from the Miami Marlins’ Dan Straily on June 14, San Francisco Giants third baseman Evan Longoria was very much playing like a man his age. The 32-year old former Tampa Bay Ray star had 10 home runs and 34 RBIs, but was hitting just .246, with a .278 OBP and a .434 slugging percentage.
Since his return, though, Longoria has hit .316 with a .500 slugging percentage and a .393 batting average on balls in play in nine games, but had just one home run and two RBIs.
His second homer since returning came at just the right time. His 2-2 eighth-inning solo shot off Arizona Diamondbacks relief ace Archie Bradley capped a 3-for-4, two-RBI day for Longoria, and gave the Giants the lead and a 3-2 win, allowing San Francisco to the series in the desert.
Longoria wasn’t the only veteran to shine under the roof on Sunday in Phoenix. Derek Holland limited Arizona to two runs on three hits over 5 1/3 innings, lowering his ERA to 3.88. At the start of June, it sat more than a full run higher. He walked two, struck out six and left with the score tied.
Arizona (62-51) drew first blood, taking the early lead on Steven Souza Jr.’s solo homer in the second inning. The Giants responded with a run in the third, with Longoria delivering a two-out RBI single. Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray struck out the first two batters in the inning but yielded a single to the red-hot Andrew McCutchen and walked Buster Posey before Longoria’s knock tied the game.
The hosts went back on top in the bottom of the fourth as Eduardo Escobar led off with a double and Ketel Marte singled him home with one out. Longoria fueled the rally in the top of the sixth with a double and came around to score on Nick Hundley’s single, though Hundley was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double. Ray would also yield a single to Austin Slater before leaving the game. Though he struck out eight over 5 1/3 innings of work, Ray also surrendered seven hits and four walks. Yoshihisa Hirano got out of the inning by freezing Gorkys Hernandez.
Reyes Moronta got the final two outs of the sixth for San Francisco (57-56), while Andrew Chafin got the first two outs in the seventh before giving way to Bradley, who struck out Andrew McCutchen to end the inning. Ray Black pitched a perfect bottom of the seventh, and the rookie became the benefactor of the veteran third baseman’s go-ahead home run as he claimed his first career win.
Longoria got a middle-middle fastball on a 2-2 count and deposited it above the 25-foot wall in deep left-center field. Sam Dyson escaped a jam in the bottom of the seventh, allowing a two-out walk to Paul Goldschmidt and hitting Souza with a pitch to load the bases before Marte flew out to left. As he has done frequently since stepping into the closer role, Will Smith encountered minimal trouble, striking out pinch-hitter A.J. Pollock to cap off a perfect ninth inning and record his seventh save of the season.