'Frustrated' Evan Longoria strains hamstring, likely headed to IL again

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Another IL trip likely as 'frustrated' Longo strains hamstring originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

LOS ANGELES -- A few minutes after the final out of the Giants' 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, Evan Longoria walked slowly up the ramp outside the visiting clubhouse at Dodger Stadium. The next destination will likely once again be the Injured List.

Longoria strained his right hamstring while running down to first base in the fourth inning Saturday afternoon and will get an MRI on Sunday. For now, all the Giants know is that the strain is severe enough to put him on the IL for the third time. Longoria has already missed 40 games this season because of injuries.

"I haven't had a chance to talk to him after the game but I know he's really frustrated," manager Gabe Kapler said. "It's hard when your body doesn't cooperate with you. It's kind of one thing after another and he hasn't been able to get over the hump. I feel for him as a friend, I feel for him as a player, and I feel for us because obviously he's really important to our club. He's hitting right in the middle of the lineup and playing third base for us and doing a really nice job. It sucks for us, sucks for him and it's disappointing, but we'll keep fighting."

Longoria has a .790 OPS and nine homers through 49 games this season and has provided his usual steady defense at third base. He was hitting fourth on Saturday against Dodgers lefty Julio Urias and likely would have been the cleanup hitter on Sunday against Clayton Kershaw.

Longoria was replaced by rookie David Villar, who is the likely fill-in if Longoria misses extended time. Wilmer Flores can also handle third, but right now he's playing a lot of second since Thairo Estrada has shifted over to shortstop to cover for Brandon Crawford, who also is on the IL.

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The Giants could accelerate Tommy La Stella's rehab if Longoria hits the IL. La Stella has played two rehab games for Triple-A Sacramento, but he's not an ideal option for Sunday against Kershaw, and even when he does return, he hasn't played many games in the field this season.