By Morris Phillips
The part of the Giants’ season where Evan Longoria hits the ball over the fence everyday is starting to gain some appeal.
Longoria’s ninth inning home run gave the Giants the lead for the first time all afternoon and they went on to beat the Phillies 5-4 in 10 innings at Citizens Bank Park on Memorial Day.
Manager Gabe Kapler suspended his National Anthem protest for a day, as the pressing issues for both clubs took center stage.
“While I believe strongly in the right to protest and the importance of doing so, I also believe strongly in honoring and mourning our country’s service men and women who fought and died for that right,” Kapler wrote in a statement issued before the game.
The Phillies came up short in the late innings for the second straight day, ratcheting up the pressure on manager Joe Girardi, who has seen his club drop 11 of their last 15 games. Longoria’s home run off Corey Knebel, then Curt Casali’s two-run homer off Andrew Bellatti in the tenth had the familiar Philly boo birds in full effect.
“Everyone in that room and in this room has gone through tough times in your life and you get to the other side,” Girardi said. “Otherwise, you wouldn’t be in this room.”
The Giants’ rough times continued the first two days in Cincinnati, but Longoria’s exploits have the club on a modest two-game win streak after losses in 16 of their previous 27 games.
Longoria started the season on the injured list to recover from a surgically repaired finger. He made his debut on May 11 and went his first 11 appearances without a home run. But he’s homered five times in the last five games, with Giants winning three of the five.
Casali credited his home run to Giants’ starter Logan Webb, who had his very best stuff marred by a trio of home runs, including Kyle Schwarber’s that pushed the game to extras.
“I didn’t care who did it, honestly. You want to win every game, but I wanted to win that game so bad,” said Casali. “Just what (Webb) did and being able to come out for the ninth and have that heartbreak ending to his day. Man, he pitched well today. That’s vintage Logan Webb. He had everything going.”
Webb pitched eight plus allowing four hits and the three, solo homers. What stood out for Webb was his 10 strikeouts, no walks and a bundle of swings and misses.
“I had thrown the first eight,” Webb said. “We were up, and I wanted to win. It sucks I couldn’t finish it.”
Philadelphia’s Ranger Suarez and Jakob Junis are the announced pitchers for Tuesday’s second game of the series.