Rugged individual: Ruggiano hits solo shot

Homer is veteran outfielder's first as a Giant

May 13th, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO -- A day after hitting a ball that died at the warning track in the cool late-night air at AT&T Park, smacked another one that had a similar look and feel to it. The difference was this one kept going for a home run, Ruggiano's first of the season and a key moment in the Giants' 3-1 win over the Reds on Saturday.

"Lot of day games here, I hope," Ruggiano cracked after the game. "The night games are tougher."

The 35-year-old journeyman, who was signed to a Minor League contract in the offseason before getting called up from Triple-A Sacramento on May 6, had seven home runs in 2016 while splitting time between the Rangers and Mets.

Coincidentally, Ruggiano's most recent home run before his two-out blast off Reds starter in the second inning also came at AT&T Park. That was on Aug. 18, and it came against Giants ace .

This time around, Ruggiano was in the home dugout, and he made his swing pay off after falling a few feet shy on Friday.

"The one yesterday got in there maybe a little bit more in on the barrel, but they felt the same to me," Ruggiano said. "I just know how it is here -- day games, for the most part, it goes a little bit more. Even playing right field today, the ball was like a jet stream going from right to center.

"There was a ball in the first or second inning that I called early, and I found myself drifting more toward center field. I felt like I was in center field when I caught the ball. That's just how it is -- day games here, the wind swirls."

The Giants hit two home runs, giving them 10 in their past six games. Nine of the homers have been solo shots, something not lost on manager Bruce Bochy, whose club has been power-starved most of the season.

San Francisco's 29 home runs through 38 games are the fewest in the Majors.

"I like three-run homers, sure, but you take them," Bochy said. "We're getting better swings off. It's a lot easier to score when you do add some slugging to your club. We didn't get a lot of hits today … but you see what the power does. That was missing. It wasn't missing for the other clubs, and that's what was hurting us. Hopefully this continues, and we start doing this with some men on base."