MLB: Evan Longoria faces former team as Diamondbacks oppose Giants

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The San Francisco Giants will see a familiar face when they begin a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday in Phoenix.

Evan Longoria spent the previous five seasons with the Giants before joining the D-backs as a free agent in January. The 37-year-old is off to a slow start with his new team, which is 3-3 during its current 10-game homestand.

Longoria is hitting .225 with four home runs and seven RBIs in 71 at-bats. After being an everyday player throughout his career, Longoria is adjusting to a platoon role at third base with Josh Rojas.

“The role is what it is; I knew what I signed up for,” Longoria said. “I’m just trying to find that routine so I can be ready when I’m needed. I figured there was going to be a learning curve. I believe I still have a lot to give and it will turn around.”

The D-backs have been starting Rojas mostly against right-handed pitchers with Longoria taking the other end of the platoon. Rojas is hitting .355 (22-for-62) with one homer, nine RBIs and seven stolen bases in his last 19 games against San Francisco.

While Arizona is off to a surprising 20-17 record, the Giants are four games under .500 after losing two of three to the Washington Nationals.

One bright spot for San Francisco was the major league debut of infielder Casey Schmitt, who went 4-for-8 with a home run in his first two games.

“He’s one of those guys that there’s always something, whether it be a play at third base or shortstop, hitting a home run like that — I think he’s a very exciting player,” Giants pitcher Logan Webb said. “Every night he has a chance to do something cool.”

San Francisco is expected to send right-hander Alex Cobb (2-1, 2.01 ERA) to the mound in the series opener. He tossed seven scoreless innings in a 4-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers last Saturday.

Cobb, 35, has given up a total of four runs with a 24-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his last four starts covering 26 innings.

“He really understands pitching,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “He’s got a full arsenal that he can get in the zone with at any time. I find Alex to be as entertaining to watch as any pitcher in baseball because of his level of competitiveness.”

Cobb is 2-2 with a 6.10 ERA in six career starts against Arizona, including 0-1 with an 8.36 mark in three outings at Chase Field.

Arizona will counter with left-hander Tommy Henry (1-0, 5.17), who is making his fourth start since being recalled from Triple-A Reno on April 24.

Henry, 25, allowed two runs on six hits over six innings in a no-decision against the Washington Nationals last Saturday.

Henry is facing the Giants for the second time after allowing five runs over 4 2/3 innings in a no-decision on Sept. 23, 2022.

The Diamondbacks are exercising patience with struggling center fielder Alek Thomas, who is batting .196 with two homers and 10 RBIs. He has two extra-base hits in his past nine games.

“It’s hard to stay positive sometimes because you obviously want to see the numbers on the board,” Thomas said. “But I don’t know. You’ve just really gotta trust the process, trust that it’s gonna show up one day and that you can’t be pressing too much about it.”

–Field Level Media

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