Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Lineup tweak pays off in Giants' winning trip

Special to MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Injuries have forced the Giants into multiple moving parts in the batting order this season, but they came out of their first winning road trip in 13 months with a new look they feel good about.

Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford have hit in the first four spots barring days off and nicks for the last week, and manager Bruce Bochy plans to keep it that way.

View Full Game Coverage

PHOENIX -- Injuries have forced the Giants into multiple moving parts in the batting order this season, but they came out of their first winning road trip in 13 months with a new look they feel good about.

Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford have hit in the first four spots barring days off and nicks for the last week, and manager Bruce Bochy plans to keep it that way.

View Full Game Coverage

If it works, don't fix it.

Longoria, in his sixth straight start in the three-hole, had three hits and two RBIs, and his tiebreaking homer just to the left of the batter's eye in center field in the eighth inning gave the Giants a 3-2 victory over the D-backs on Sunday. He had hit third four times previously this season.

New leadoff man McCutchen reached base safely in eight straight plate appearances beginning with a five-hit game Saturday, and he singled and scored on Longoria's single off Robbie Ray in the third inning. Longoria hit leadoff for the first time this season July 28.

Video: SF@ARI: Longoria smacks an RBI single to center

Posey contributed a single and a walk Sunday, his first game back since taking a foul tip off the mask Friday.

"That's what it is going to take, those guys, veterans," Bochy said.

Those four hit one through four for the first time Monday, when the Giants began a two-game sweep in San Diego before splitting a four-game weekend series in Arizona. They had not had a winning road trip since taking four of six in Pittsburgh and Detroit from June 30-July 6, 2017, a span of 13 trips.

Video: SF@ARI: Smith K's Pollock to close out Giants' win

"It's been tough. We've had guys in and out of the lineup," Longoria said. "We as individuals expect to perform at a certain level. It is nice to be all out there together and finally get it going.

"If there is any time to get it going, it is now. We need everybody to start clicking and score some runs. The pitchers have been doing a great job. We just need to support that."

Longoria's fingerprints were all over this one -- he beat an exaggerated shift by muscling an inside fastball into right-center field for an RBI single to tie the game at 1 in the third inning, and he doubled and scored on Nick Hundley's single to tie it again in the sixth.

Video: SF@ARI: Hundley smokes an RBI single to left

Then came his 12th homer, on a 97 mph fastball from Archie Bradley with one out in the eighth.

"That's the beauty or the terrible part about this game is that it can be one pitch and I just made a bad one," Bradley said. "To guys like him, [if] you make a mistake, sometimes they miss it but usually they don't. That was one he didn't miss."

Longoria was 8-for-18 with two homers in the four-game series at Arizona while extending his hitting streak to eight games, and he is hitting .357 with three doubles, two homers and four RBIs in 10 games since returning from a broken left hand that caused him to miss 34 games.

"It took four or five days, but I feel like I've found a little something," Longoria said. "This place [Chase Field] I think helps. It is a pretty good hitters' ballpark. You see the ball well.

"It has a tendency to get you back on track and swinging the bat the way you feel you are capable of doing."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Sam Dyson hit Steven Souza Jr., the first batter he faced, to load the bases with two outs in the eighth inning, but got Ketel Marte on a routine fly to left field to preserve a 3-2 lead, and Will Smith struck out two of the three he faced in a 1-2-3 ninth for his sixth save.

"The pitching was there, and we needed it," Bochy said.

Video: SF@ARI: Dyson retires Marte to escape jam

SOUND SMART
Right-hander Ray Black threw three fastballs at 99 mph and five at 98 among his 12 pitches while extending his hitless streak to 10 1/3 innings with a 1-2-3 seventh inning. When Longoria homered in the eighth, Black got his first Major League victory.

"It's incredible. It's as advertised," Black said about the feeling of the first win. "It's just being able to be a part of these situations where you're in line for the win."

Black has given up only three baserunners -- all on walks -- and has 13 strikeouts in his last 10 appearances.

Video: SF@ARI: Black gets Murphy out to complete perfect 7th

HE SAID IT
"Going into it, we knew we had to do whatever we could to get as much ground gained on this team. This is one of those races now. It's tight. We have to get things going. This is going to be a tight race. It is a great division all the way around." -- left-hander Derek Holland, who gave up three hits and two runs with six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings

Video: SF@ARI: Holland punches out Peralta in the 1st

UP NEXT
For the first time since 2015, the Giants will meet the juggernaut that Houston has become in a two-game miniseries that beings Monday at AT&T Park. Dereck Rodriguez and Madison Bumgarner are the Giants' scheduled starters. The teams split four games in 2015, and Bumgarner struck out 12 in a complete-game victory Aug. 11.

Jack Magruder is a contributor to MLB.com based in Phoenix.

San Francisco Giants, Evan Longoria, Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey