The Arizona Diamondbacks aren't the worst team in the National League, but there was no team that could have provided a softer landing for the Giants after a rough weekend with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Giants went 8-2 against the Diamondbacks last season and entered this series having won 14 of their last 20 at Chase Field. Their first meeting this season was a laugher.
Brandon Crawford gave the Giants an early lead, Evan Longoria kept tacking on and Kevin Gausman did what he always does. The Giants won 8-0, getting their sixth consecutive victory on the road and wiping away a lot of the bitterness from a weekend sweep at the hands of the Dodgers.
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Both pitchers ran into some trouble in the first inning, but Gausman got out of it with strikeouts, while Corbin Martin got beat by Crawford.
Crawford had a great at-bat before lining a double into the gap to unload the bases and give the Giants a 3-0 lead. He caught a break when catcher Carson Kelly dropped a foul tip that would have ended the inning, and he just barely stayed alive by ticking another two-strike pitch foul when it appeared it was just about in Kelly's glove. With the hit, Crawford moved into 10th in San Francisco Giants history in RBI and eighth in doubles.
In the bottom of the inning, Buster Posey held on to a foul tip with runners on the corners, clinching a strikeout of NL RBI leader Eduardo Escobar. Gausman blew three fastballs past Kelly to end the inning and strand two runners.
How Low Can He Go
Gausman ran a high pitch count so he was done after five innings, but he didn't allow a run, lowering his ERA to 1.53. He ranks third in the National League, trailing only the Milwaukee Brewers' Brandon Woodruff (1.41) and the New York Mets' Jacob deGrom (0.80), who should be on his own separate leaderboard, if we're being honest.
Gausman wasn't particularly sharp, but he got 21 swinging strikes, including 12 with his four-seamer. He struck out nine while working around five hits and two walks.
As Longoria stepped to the plate, Duane Kuiper said, "he's about to get heated up." A couple minutes later, Longoria hit a three-run blast to dead center that gave the Giants a 6-0 lead.
The homer traveled an estimated 444 feet, making it Longoria's longest since he was traded to the Giants. It was the third-longest homer of the season by any Giant, trailing only Austin Slater (456) and Brandon Belt (452). The Giants have hit at least one homer in 23 of 27 road games and lead the Majors with 46 homers on the road.
Manager Gabe Kapler was adamant on Sunday that Longoria could benefit from two full days off, sitting Longoria even though lefty Julio Urias was on the mound and the Giants were looking at a sweep. He bounced back in a huge way, getting three hits on exit velocities of 108 mph, 108 mph and 104 mph.