NEW YORK -- Evan Longoria hit his 100th career home run on Friday night against the Yankees, driving an outside pitch into the New York bullpen in right-center field. But if the third baseman had not switched spikes after the All-Star break, he might simply have popped that pitch up.
Longoria said on Saturday that he is no longer bothered by a nerve problem in his left foot that had been causing him pain and affecting his swing. Thanks to a newer version of his spikes and a change in therapy from hot to cold, Longoria said he's as healthy as he has felt all season.
"The only reason I knew that the shoe helped was that I wore the new ones for, like, two games and the top material was kind of uncomfortable, but my foot didn't hurt," Longoria said on Saturday. "So I was kind of in between. And then I wore my older shoes that were more comfortable but made my foot hurt, and after two innings, it was killing me. I had to switch back to these."
Longoria, who has his own model of cleats manufactured by Nike, said he didn't ask for more room in the toe box but has been happy with the result, especially after he broke the shoes in.
"Lately, I've felt really good -- I feel like I have more plate coverage," Longoria said. "Like the pitch I had last night, I felt like I'm able to take the swing that I know how to take on that pitch instead of feeling like if I did, it I was going to hurt my foot or something.
"I don't like making excuses, but it's an obvious difference."
Longoria, who also spent a month on the disabled list with an oblique injury, entered Saturday with four homers and a .532 slugging percentage in August. He said he is resigned to finishing this season with a low average -- he's hitting .232 with a .330 on-base percentage -- but is happy with his power. Manager Joe Maddon said he expects Longoria to hit 25 or 30 home runs each season.
Longoria now has 100 homers in 519 career games but will leave predictions to others.
"I'm not talking about numbers," Longoria said. "I did that one year, and you know how it turned out for me."