WASHINGTON (AP) — Evan Longoria and the rest of the San Francisco Giants came into their matchup against Stephen Strasburg with a grand total of 10 homers through their first 17 games — worse than all but one other team in the majors.
The Giants also ranked 29th of 30 clubs in runs, with just 47, and in batting average, at only .199, a big reason their record has been below .500 all season. Last time out, in a shutout loss, they managed all of one hit, a single by Longoria.
For one night, at least, and against Strasburg, no less, the Giants looked like a modern-day Murderers’ Row. Longoria, Brandon Belt and Steven Duggar homered off fastballs from the 2009 draft’s No. 1 overall pick, and the light-hitting Giants powered their way to a 7-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday.
“We had some good at-bats off a very, very tough pitcher,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “It was good to see us break out.”
Longoria led off the fifth with a shot to right-center off a 95 mph pitch. One out and one hard-hit single later, Duggar took a 92 mph offering just over the wall in left-center for a two-run drive that made it 3-1.
Belt added a solo shot with one out in the sixth, putting a 94 mph first pitch into the home bullpen beyond right field for his fourth homer of 2019.
Longoria, Duggar said, “definitely got us going. Hitting’s contagious and it feeds off each other.”
Strasburg (1-1) allowed four runs in six innings.
“The ball just ran back over the plate,” said Washington manager Dave Martinez, who was ejected after arguing with umpire Tony Randazzo when two Nationals players were called out on strikes to end the fifth.
“He’s got good stuff,” Martinez said about Strasburg. “It’s just one or two little things happen and we get into these innings.”
Still learning to pitch with a fastball that sits in the low-to-mid-90s, instead of the high-90s heat he possessed before Tommy John surgery and other ailments, Strasburg has served up five homers over his past two outings.
He said he probably should “not just consistently start the guy off with heater, heater, heater, especially as the game goes on. So something to learn from, but not too concerned about it.”
It all added up to San Francisco’s fourth win in five games.
BACK IN TOWN
Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez (2-2) gave up one run in five innings. He got help from catcher Buster Posey, who threw out a pair of would-be base-stealers at second. Rodriguez’s father is Hall of Famer and former Nationals catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, who caught Strasburg’s major league debut, a 14-strikeout performance 0n June 8, 2010. “I was in the clubhouse, watching it,” the younger Rodriguez said.
Martinez’s account of what led to his ejection: “I was in the dugout. I said, ‘Hey, let’s go. You got to be better than that.’ I didn’t cuss. I didn’t say much other than, ‘Let’s go.’ And what really irritated me was him putting his hand up in my face, pretty much. So I can tolerate a lot of things. Don’t do that. … Him walking towards our dugout when I’m in the dugout — I hope the league looks at that.”
Giants: Bochy said OF/1B Tyler Austin (right elbow) should be able to avoid the injured list and maybe start in Thursday’s series finale. … Single-A San Jose C Joey Bart has a fractured left hand after getting hit by a pitch. Bochy said Bart could be out about 4 to 6 weeks.
Giants RHP Jeff Samardzija (1-0, 1.62 ERA) has not fared well in his past half-dozen starts against the Nationals, going 0-6 with a 7.39 ERA. On Wednesday, he’ll face Washington RHP Jeremy Hellickson (1-0, 2.25).
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