Longo's 300th HR, Webb's 8 K's fuel Giants

Top prospect Bart joins in on milestones with first career RBI

August 22nd, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- Career nights for veteran and rookie Logan Webb propelled the Giants to a 6-2, series-opening win over the D-backs on Friday night at Oracle Park.

Longoria joined select company by becoming the 150th Major League player to hit 300 career home runs, while Webb struck out a career-high eight over seven innings in his longest outing for the Giants (12-16), who extended their winning streak to a season-high four games.

Joey Bart, San Francisco's No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, also achieved a notable milestone, working a 10-pitch walk with the bases loaded in the seventh inning to collect his first career RBI. He added a 103.4 mph double off the bricks in right field in the second, giving him two extra-base hits in his first two big league games.

“He’s pretty good, huh?” Webb said, grinning.

The Giants figure to see Webb and Bart paired as a battery for years to come, as the 23-year-olds are viewed as big pieces of the club’s future.

“I definitely think they did a nice job together,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “Without getting too far out in front of ourselves, I’m excited about Logan individually and the steps forward he’s taken, and certainly excited about Joey’s start. He’s been great so far in just about every element of the game.”

Webb limited the D-backs to two runs on five hits, lowering his ERA to 3.29. His strong outing was backed by a pair of two-run homers from Longoria and Wilmer Flores, who hammered a go-ahead shot off former D-backs teammate Robbie Ray in the fifth for his team-leading seventh home run of the year. The red-hot Flores has homered in three consecutive games, the longest streak of his career, and has collected 10 RBIs over that span.

“I’d like him to leave some runners out there for me,” joked Longoria, who hit behind Flores. “But of course, putting runs on the board like he has been doing is huge for the club.”

Longoria opened the scoring with his milestone blast in the third inning. The 34-year-old third baseman crushed a fastball from Ray halfway up the left-field bleachers for a two-run shot that gave the Giants a 2-0 lead. Longoria's third homer of the year came off the bat at 109.1 mph and traveled a projected 394 feet, according to Statcast.

“I’ve never really thought about personal numbers, but it is special,” Longoria said. “My wife continued to remind me before the year started that I was only three short. She really likes even numbers, so I had to make sure I got there. It feels good to have it out of the way, and in a win. We’re playing really well right now, and obviously it makes moments like this a lot more special.”

Longoria is the 10th player to hit No. 300 in a Giants uniform, joining Mel Ott, Johnny Mize, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Reggie Smith, Barry Bonds, Moises Alou, Steve Finley and Carlos Beltrán. Longoria hit the first 261 home runs of his career with the Rays, who selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2006 MLB Draft and developed him into a three-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove Award winner and the '08 American League Rookie of the Year.

Kapler has enjoyed a unique vantage point to Longoria’s career arc. Kapler played with Longoria on the Rays in 2009-10, and he's now managing him with the Giants, who traded for Longoria in December 2017. Kapler said he wasn’t surprised by Longoria’s ability to consistently excel in the Majors since his early days in Tampa.

“I think what I saw in Evan at that point was just a really genuine, good human being,” Kapler said. “A good teammate, and somebody who put winning first. Three hundred home runs later, it isn’t a surprise, frankly. He was that good then, and he’s had just an incredible career. I’m really, really happy for him, and I know his teammates are as well.”

Webb said he grew up a fan of Longoria and tried to imitate his batting stance during his freshman and sophomore seasons in high school.

“I wasn’t as successful as he was,” Webb said.

Webb is doing just fine as a pitcher, though. He needed 73 pitches to get through the first four innings, but he became more efficient as he pitched deeper into the game. After allowing a pair of runs in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Christian Walker and David Peralta and an RBI single by Eduardo Escobar, Webb bounced back to retire 10 of the final 11 batters he faced. He departed after throwing 102 pitches, the highest total of his career.

“It was a different game in the second half for Logan,” Kapler said. “Early on, he was actually making pitches and doing a nice job, but he was also falling behind and having to battle back into counts. He was able to execute pitches, but he wasn’t attacking the same way he did in the later innings. At that point, he got super efficient, started to get in the zone and looked for early contact. I think he really learned that it doesn’t hurt him. His stuff is good enough that he can just attack with it.”

Kapler said he also thought Bart took an important step forward in his development in the seventh, when the D-backs issued an intentional walk to Alex Dickerson to load the bases for the young catcher. Bart fell behind, 1-2, and fouled off five pitches before drawing a 10-pitch walk to plate a run and extend the Giants’ lead to 5-2.

“In that situation, a lot of young guys might come out of their strike zone and swing at some bad pitches,” Longoria said. “He fought off some tough ones and ended up having a great at-bat there.

“I think he’s been really composed, kind of the same guy that I saw both in Spring Training and in Summer Camp. I think he’s really proven that he’s ready to play here. I think he’s got a pretty high ceiling. He’s going to be pretty special.”