ST. PETERSBURG -- Evan Longoria victimized a familiar target with a home run in Sunday's 8-5 loss: Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles.Looking for a fastball, Longoria yanked a changeup on the outside corner into the left field bleachers to put the Rays ahead 5-3 in the fifth inning. It
ST. PETERSBURG -- Evan Longoria victimized a familiar target with a home run in Sunday's 8-5 loss: Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles.
Looking for a fastball, Longoria yanked a changeup on the outside corner into the left field bleachers to put the Rays ahead 5-3 in the fifth inning. It was the ninth time Longoria has homered off Tillman in his career, his most versus any pitcher.
Longoria chalked up his personal success against Tillman to running into him frequently as AL East adversaries, along with coincidence.
"You play long enough in this league, you're bound to run into some guys you have success against," Longoria said. "Whether you see the ball coming out of their hand a little better, or if you have a little bit better feel for how they pitch you and the way that they sequence you. Like I said, I wasn't looking for that pitch, but I was able to stay through it."
With 253 career home runs, only 18 active players have more long balls than Longoria. Astros catcher Brian McCann is the only one among them who has tagged a single pitcher with nine homers (McCann has nine against Ricky Nolasco).
Longoria also has 37 homers against the Orioles, more than against any other team. With 36 of those round-trippers coming as a third baseman, no other opposing player manning the hot corner has homered that many times against Baltimore in its history.
Before it went on to win the game, Baltimore knotted the score as Jonathan Schoop pulled a changeup past the left field wall, just as Longoria did. Longoria compared his homer to Schoop's in that Longoria was ahead of the pitch but was "able to get [his] arms extended." Distance-wise, the two homers landed four feet within another from the plate.
Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.