SAN DIEGO -- Evan Longoria, a big leaguer since 2008, had never been to Petco Park before his first visit with the Giants last season. Sometimes the adjustment period includes some things you wouldn't think about, like simply finding the correct entrance to a ballpark.
Longoria knows his way around this time, and he certainly looks more comfortable at the plate. A year after starting 0-for-17 in his first season with the Giants, Longoria has three hits in two games in 2019. With a loud solo homer in the ninth Friday, he became the first and only Giant to touch home plate this season.
🚨 THE GIANTS SCORED A RUN! I REPEAT: THE GIANTS SCORED A RUN 🚨 pic.twitter.com/O18MhboQr4— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) March 30, 2019
"This year," Longoria said, "is much different."
Last year was not what he had grown accustomed to. Longoria led the Giants with 16 homers, but his OPS dipped to .694 and his OPS+ of 89 put him below league average as a hitter for the first time in his career.
"It was tough last year," Longoria said. "It was even tougher than I thought it would be."
Longoria said the adjustment was more mental than anything. From the first day of camp this time around, he looked more comfortable.
The Giants need it, too. Desperately. On paper, they're lacking power and production.
That has been the case through two games.
The Giants were three outs from becoming the first group in franchise history to get shut out on back-to-back days to start the season. They rallied to load the bases after Longoria's blast, but Gerardo Parra and Brandon Belt went down looking on pitches the clubhouse vehemently disagreed with.
Nobody will remember the calls in a week. The box scores will simply show that the Giants scored one run in their first two games.
"It's sad it took us 17 innings to (score) but hopefully we can get some life out of that (rally)," Longoria said. "Sometimes you just need a little bit of a spark."