Wade's historic Splash Hit not enough vs. Orioles

June 3rd, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO -- made quite the splash at Oracle Park on Friday night -- literally.

Wade sent the first pitch he saw from Dean Kremer into McCovey Cove for a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning of a 3-2 loss to the Orioles, collecting the 100th Splash Hit by a Giant since the waterfront ballpark opened in 2000.

The Giants celebrated the milestone in style, setting off the water cannons and firing orange, black and silver streamers into the crowd behind home plate when the Splash Hit counter officially hit triple digits between innings. A couple of wayward streamers ended up drifting onto the field as the Giants took their positions for the top of the second, including one that was scooped up by Wade near first base.

“I think our dugout, our team, the ballpark was clearly excited for LaMonte,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “It felt like the right guy to get that big hit. It was a no-doubter, so we didn’t have to wonder if it was going to hit the water. Got it out of the way early in the game, so it was a good moment for our fans to share with us in the dugout.”

Twenty-eight players have delivered Splash Hits for the Giants, with Wade and Mike Yastrzemski (5) leading the charge among those on the active roster. (Joc Pederson also has five, but he’s only hit three with the Giants.) The all-time leader remains home run king Barry Bonds, who hit 35 over his 15 seasons in San Francisco, including the inaugural Splash Hit on May 1, 2000.

“It’s special,” Wade said. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but anytime you can be in the company of Barry Bonds and all those guys like that, it definitely means a lot.”

Wade signed some balls and bats to get the ball back from the kayaker who retrieved it out of the water, though he wasn’t sure if the memento would end up staying with him or the Giants.

“I don’t know who it goes to, but I think personally it should go to me,” Wade said. “I would like to keep it. I’m pretty sure we’re going to have discussions and negotiations about that. I think it should be mine."

Wade said he hoped to give the ball to his mom, Emily, who was already inquiring about the ball’s whereabouts after the game.

“I know that’s her buzzing my phone right now,” Wade said. “I know I’m going to hear her screaming and asking where the ball is at. I look forward to answering that phone call.”

Wade’s eighth home run of the season wasn’t enough to support a quality start from right-hander , who took the loss after surrendering a go-ahead home run to Gunnar Henderson in the seventh inning.

Henderson’s 410-foot shot out to right-center field broke a 2-2 tie and left his bat at 110.7 mph, making it the hardest hit allowed by Webb this season. The blast also snapped Webb’s streak of 33 consecutive innings without allowing a homer, which dated back to May 9.

“The at-bat before, I threw him some changeups and I got him out on that, so I think I threw one too many,” said Webb, who gave up three runs on four hits over seven innings. “I just left it up. To be honest with you, going back and looking at it, it seemed like he was probably sitting on it. But he’s a good hitter. That team’s pretty damn good.”

Casey Schmitt laced a two-out double to put the tying run on second base in the bottom of the ninth, but Baltimore closer Félix Bautista struck out pinch-hitter Michael Conforto to end the game. After winning 11 of their previous 14 games, the Giants have now lost three in a row to dip back below .500 at 28-29.

“Those are some big, accurate arms with some big stuff,” Kapler said of the Orioles’ bullpen. “It’s definitely challenging as you get into the later innings. They’ve proven time and time again that they can handle those spots. Really challenging at-bats for our hitters, and I thought our hitters put some good at-bats on them. I thought, generally speaking, it was a well-played game on both sides. They just got that one big hit that was the biggest difference.”