Longoria rips one of Trop's longest homers
Rays star third baseman's drive to left field travels 473 feet
ST. PETERSBURG -- Evan Longoria woke up the Tropicana Field crowd in the sixth inning of Tuesday night's 4-3 Rays win over the Orioles, connecting off Kevin Millwood for a mammoth 473-foot home run down the left-field line.
"It felt like I really hit that one," Longoria said. "I didn't know how far that would go. I stood there for a second just to see if it was going to stay fair. It was down the line, I didn't know if I hooked it or not. But I definitely knew it was hit well. ... I've probably hit some balls harder that were on a line, but [that was] probably one of the furthest I hit, for sure."
Marveled Rays manager Joe Maddon: "It just left so hot and so high, I thought it might hit the back wall."
Longoria's blast was the second home run to land in the left-field party deck on the fly. Vinny Castilla hit the first one on April 4, 2001, against the Red Sox, with a 478-foot home run that ranks as the longest homer at Tropicana Field.
Longoria's blast ranks third. Jonny Gomes hit the second-longest home run when he hit a 474-foot walk-off homer off the Tigers' Troy Percival on July 9, 2005.
The Rays' third baseman said he hit a Millwood fastball that was up in the strike zone.
"We had a tough time with him earlier, because he was throwing that same pitch," Longoria said. "When guys consistently throw it there, it's tough, because guys are always taught to pitch down, so we always look for the ball down.
"I think he got a lot of outs early in the game with that same pitch. He got to two strikes, and I had it in the back of my mind, because he had struck me out with that the first time. I just didn't want to get off the fastball, and I was telling myself, 'If he throws that one up again, I'm just going to try and get on top of it.'"
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.